Heavy rain disrupts rail, road traffic in Haryana, Punjab

Chandigarh/New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Hundreds of harried passengers were stranded at railway stations in Punjab and Haryana Tuesday as many trains were cancelled or delayed due to excessive rains. Road and air traffic was also badly hit.

The Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Shatabdi train that is scheduled to reach Chandigarh at 11 a.m. was nearly eight hours late Tuesday. The evening Shatabdi, which leaves Delhi at 5.15 p.m., started two hours late and was stopped at Panipat. After a halt, passengers were told it would return to Delhi due to floods in Ambala, officials said.

‘The Kalka Shatabdi got stuck at Shahabad town in Haryana,’ Y.P. Singh, divisional regional manager, Northern Railways, told IANS.

It arrived at the Chandigarh at 7.45 p.m. and proceeded to Kalka. ‘It will go back to Delhi at around 10.20 p.m. from Chandigarh. The normal timing is 6.20 p.m.,’ a senior railway official said.

Said Raghu Mittal, a harassed passenger: ‘I’ve to reach Delhi today (Tuesday) as tomorrow (Wednesday) I have to appear for an interview for admission in a management institute. But after coming here I came to know about the cancellation of the Jan-Shatabdi train.’

Almost all trains touching Ambala had to be cancelled, a railway official said in New Delhi.

‘There is heavy water logging at and around Ambala station, leading to cancellations and diversions of several trains,’ he said.

The cancelled trains included the Shatbadi Express running from Amritsar to New Delhi, the official said, adding this would lead to New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi being cancelled Wednesday.

Many arterial roads in the region were also waterlogged, leading to traffic jams.

The national highway connecting Chandigarh and New Delhi was under water near Lalru town in Punjab and at Shahabad town in Haryana.

Heavy rains also affected air traffic and most flights at Chandigarh airport were delayed.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal issued a statewide alert and directed all deputy commissioners to monitor the water level in canals and check the vulnerable points on the embankments.

He also reviewed the situation in over two dozen flood-hit villages of Ludhiana district and directed authorities to take remedial action.

The weather office said rains would continue for the next two to three days in the region.

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