Former MP Kunal Ghosh speaks with the media in Kolkata on May 1, 2024. TMC on Wednesday removed Mr. Ghosh from the post of party’s West Bengal general secretary for making statements not aligning with the party.

Tripura facing fuel crisis as goods train services not yet restored: Official

Representational image of a motorist at a fuel station in Agartala, Tripura

Representational image of a motorist at a fuel station in Agartala, Tripura
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

Tripura is facing a fuel crisis as goods train services to the northeastern State have not yet been restored, an official of the Food and Civil Supplies department said on May 11.

The service to the State stopped on April 26 after derailment of a goods train in Assam’s Jatinga area but the passenger train service remains unaffected.

“The fuel crisis remains as it was earlier. The petrol crisis is severe as goods trains are not coming to the state since April 26. We don’t know when the track will be ready for resumption of goods train service fully,” Director of Food and Civil Supplies department, Nirmal Adhikari said.

The State government started rationing petrol and diesel for two-wheelers, cars and commercial vehicles from April 30.

A notification issued by the state government said two-wheelers and three-wheelers would get petrol amounting to ₹200 per day, while for four-wheelers it is ₹500 per day. For buses and minibuses, it is 60 litres and 40 litres per day. For 12 wheel, 10 wheel and six wheel trucks it is 80 litres, 60 litres and 45 litres per day respectively.

Mr. Adhikari said the department has taken steps to increase oil tankers to bring more petrol from Guwahati and Silchar to tide over the crisis.

“Now, we are bringing 60% of the state’s total fuel demand by using oil tankers. If the railway line is not fully operational by next week, there will be shortage of essential items including rice”, he said.

Mr. Adhikari said the department has sought police vigil at petrol pumps for proper distribution of petrol at petrol pumps. The cops had to resort to lathi charge after some motorcyclists became violent after they failed to get petrol at a city-based fuel outlet on May 9 night.

Meanwhile, Transport Department Additional Secretary Subrata Chowdhury on May 11 said a goods train carrying 30 wagons of petrol and 19 wagons of diesel has crossed Jatinga successfully as informed by NorthEast Frontier Railway (NFR) authority and the consignment is expected to reach Agartala by May 11 evening.

Chief Public Relations Officer of NorthEast Frontier (NFR) Sabyasachi Dey said that “goods train service has not been restored on Friday as assured by the officials working on the ground. Two goods trains carrying sugar passed Jatinga but we are not running oil tanker because it may cause problems due to ‘weight distribution’ while crossing the damaged track.” Mr. Dey said, “The restoration work is on war footing manner but we can’t give any particular time when the service will be restored.”

Chief Minister Manik Saha had written Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw for restoration of goods train service immediately as the state is facing a fuel crisis.

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