Darjeeling Himalyan Railways has incurred revenue loss of over Rs 2.5 crore due to the ongoing Gorkhaland agitation in West Bengal. An Official said if the situation would have been normal we would have earned the aforesaid amount if the train service was running. Darjeeling train service has been suspended since June 12.
Until 12th June, this year Darjeeling railways registered earning of Rs 2.05 crore. Heritage train operates under NFR and UNESCO granted it a world heritage status on 2nd December 1999. Following gorkhaland agitation , Sonada and gayabari stations of DHR were damaged. DHR headquarter situated at Elysia building in Kurseong was also damaged. The Gayabari station was gutted in a fire.
“We used to run nine trains daily from Darjeeling to Ghoom. There used to be a train from Siliguri to Darjeeling and one from Darjeeling to Siliguri. All the trains have stopped. We have to sit back till the situation normalises,” Sharma said.
All advance bookings from July 12 for DHR toy trains were cancelled and money refunded. The annual expenditure of the DHR is estimated at Rs 15 crore. The hill passenger railway started operations in 1881. Local parties have been protesting in the West Bengal hills ,demanding a separate state for Gorkha community.