Lucknow: A large number of trains between Delhi and Lucknow remained cancelled as Jats decided to continue their agitation despite talks with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
The worst hit by the non-plying of trains are daily passengers between western UP and the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Delhi.
On Thursday, the Jat Panchayat decided that blocking of the rail route at Kafurpur in western UP would continue. It was also decided that Jats would not block other routes till March 20 in view of Holi.
"If the demand is not met by then, we will block all rail and road routes to Delhi, cutting off oil, food and water supply on March 21," warned Yashpal Mallik, the president of the All India Jat Arakshan Samiti.
"The Union Ministers had conveyed to us that they need three to four days as the demand for inclusion of Jats in the Central Government list of OBCs needed to be discussed with the Ministry of Law and other relevant wings of the government, he added.
The Jats are demanding reservation in the OBC category in central services. They have the backing of the pro-dalit Mayawati Government in Uttar Pradesh, which has refused to evict the Jats from the tracks.
On Thursday, 56 trains were cancelled, 29 short-terminated and 15 diverted. The Kafurpur blockade has affected trains plying between Delhi to Uttrakhand, UP, Bihar, Northeast and West Bengal.
According to railway sources, around 654 trains have been cancelled between March 5 and 17, around 231 short-terminated and route of 401 diverted. Over 7.47 lakh passengers have cancelled their tickets in the past 13 days. The Railways has refunded over Rs 5.07 lakh to passengers.
While Lucknow Division alone is said to be losing between Rs 2 to 3 lakh per day, railway officials disclosed that the average daily loss is Rs one crore because the movement of good trains has been hit badly.