Patna, Jan 25 (PTI) Describing the Indian Railways asa national asset and a reliable mode of transportation, BiharChief Minister Nitish Kumar today condemned the protesters forcausing damage to the railway properties during agitations.
"What is the fault of the railway authorities or thetrains being damaged or set on fire by the agitators whileagitating on any issue"? he asked.
"It is a serious crime to damage railway properties,"he said in a stern warning to protesters.
Kumar, a former Railway minister himself, wasreferring to the recent incident at Nabi Nagar in Bihar''sAurangabad district when protesters agitating againstinadequate compensation for land acquisition for a thermalpower project had damaged a train.
Instead, the public must acknowledge the service beingrendered by the Indian railways and ensure protection ofrailway properties and extend cooperation with the railwayauthorities in running the train service, he said at afunction where he flagged off the service of two new trains -53659 Patna-Sasaram passenger (daily) and 12545Darbhanga-Lokmanya Tilak Karmabhumi express (weekly).
Kumar was effusive in his praise for the Railwayminister Mamata Banerjee and the railway authorities foroperationalizing the two new trains within a year after itsannouncement in last year''s budget.
The Chief Minister urged the Railway ministry toremain benevolent to the needs of Bihar and consider runningmore trains keeping in view an ever rising passenger capacityin the state even as the number of trains has seen significantincrease over the years.
Kumar also put forth his request to Banerjee forsanctioning a Duranto train from Bihar.
In addition, he advised the railway authorities toprovide better civil amenities in the trains and at thestations and ensure that the trains run on schedule.