The ongoing quota agitation by Jats in Haryana has had a considerable impact on the transportation sector, with the cancellation of over 100 trains in Haryana causing the Ambala division of Northern Railways a loss of crores of rupees.
Meanwhile, the Haryana Roadways suffered a loss of Rs3 crore in the past two days as 90 per cent of its buses remained off the roads.
The Ambala divisional railways manager (DRM) said, ''We are helpless as the railways are undergoing a major loss. We suffer a loss of Rs10 lakh on cancellation of one trip of a single train and going by the fact that around 100 trains in our division have been cancelled, the estimates will be in crores. We have released the schedule for 22 February as well and most of the express and passenger trains on the Kalka-Chandigarh-Ambala-Panipat-Delhi route will remain cancelled.''
Haryana additional chief secretary S S Dhillon said, ''Around 20 of our buses were burnt during the Rohtak incident while 80 of them have been partially damaged in terms of window panes, seats and tyres. On Saturday, 90 per cent of our buses remained off the road and in the past two days, including Sunday, we have suffered a loss of roughly Rs3 crore.''
Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) had also suspended 125 routes to Delhi, due to which a large number of passengers remained stranded in Shimla and could not return to Chandigarh till Sunday evening.
Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation-executive director R K Gautam said that over 100 buses plying on Shimla-Chandigarh highway were operating only till Parwanoo, due to which HRTC suffered a loss worth Rs70 lakh in the past two days. However, HRTC resumed all the buses on Sunday late evening.
The Northern Railways board on Sunday issued a notification stating that due to the Jat agitation, around 1,000 trains had been cancelled, short-terminated or short-originated. These included 736 mail express and passenger trains.
Among the affected rail routes involving Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir are Delhi Panipat-Ambala-Jammu Tawi, Delhi-Rohtak-Bathinda and Delhi-Rewari-Jaipiur routes. A total of 10 railway stations were burnt, two railway engines damaged and two track machines wrecked by the protesters while tracks were uprooted at several locations.
On Sunday, Jet Airways issued a notification that it would operate two additional flights, one each to Chandigarh and Amritsar from Delhi on Monday. This was done to assist those who have been inconvenienced by the lack of availability of other means of transportation to and from these cities. These flights are Delhi-Chandigarh (9W 1236), Chandigarh-Delhi (9W 1237), Delhi- Amritsar ( 9W 1390), Amritsar-Delhi (9W 1391).
Also, in view of Jat agitation, the ministry of civil aviation had organised additional flights, including Air India for Delhi Chandigarh-Amritsar, Spicejet for Delhi-Jaipur, Delhi-Amritsar, Delhi-Chandigarh and Indigo for Delhi-Chandigarh and DelhiJaipur.
In order to clear the stranded rail passengers at Jammu, the Northern Railway on Sunday to ran one more unreserved special train of 24 coaches. This train departed at 9pm from Katra for New Delhi via Jammu Tawi, Pathankot Cantt, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Sirhind, Ambala, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Ghaziabad stations.