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Rail roko at Lalapet

Staff Reporter

Public irked over the closure of railway level crossing



ANGRY: Public led by DMK district secretary Vasuki Murugesan squatting on the railway track at Lalapet on Monday.

KARUR: Irate public, irked over the closure of the railway level crossing at Lalapet, where a new rail over bridge was opened on Sunday, resorted to a rail roko agitation on Monday.

Barely 24 hours after the over bridge was dedicated to the nation, the same guests who attended the rail over bridge function were again in action, this time against the Railways.

The protestors led by Krishnarayapuram MLA P.Kamaraj, Kulithalai MLA R. Manickam and DMK district secretary Vasuki Murugesan, Kallapalli panchayat president Kalaiselvi, Chinthalavadi panchayat president Yogabalan, and DMK volunteers district president Jayabal squatted on the tracks and blocked Karur-Tiruchi passenger service.

Following the roko, the authorities halted the Tiruchi-Erode passenger at Kulithalai railway station. The agitation lasted over two hours disrupting all services in the Tiruchi-Karur section.

Sources said that the closure of the railway gate was part of the original plan envisaged at the time of granting the rail over bridge.

But in Lalapet, the rail over bridge does not actually pass over the railway gate but across the track one and half kilometre away. If the gate on the main road is closed, then access to several villages and Lalapet town could be denied to the public.

All these villagers have to take their dead to the riverside burning ghats by crossing the track. Else, they have to make a detour of four kilometres just to cross the railway track through the rail over bridge which is not practical.

The authorities have allowed funeral processions across the level crossing for the time being.

Sources said that Divisional Railway Manager, Salem, Mohan had assured the agitators of conveying their sentiments to Railway Ministry to find a solution. Heavy police bandobust was provided at the scene of protest.

Superintendent of Police P. Samundeeswari and other senior police officials were present.

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