The railways said on Tuesday that traffic operations would be resumed between Kusunda and Sonardih on the Dhanbad-Chandrapura section of East Central Railway which passes through the coal-bearing areas of Jharia Coal Field from February 20. The operation of passenger and goods traffic on the line was stopped on June 15, 2017, based on a report of the Director General of Mine Safety (DGMS).
Subsequently, on the certificate from DGMS, different sections of the line between Dhanbad-Kusunda, Sonardih-Chandrapura and Katrasgarh-Nichitpur were opened for traffic between June and November 2017. "Recently, authorisation for reopening the remaining section for goods and passenger trains between Kusunda-Sonardih has been received from Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, after joint inspection with DGMS. Some works have been identified for repair and rehabilitation of this line. After completion of these works, the section will be opened for traffic by East Central Railway," said Girish Pillai, Member, Traffic, Railway Board.
In all, services of 26 pairs of passenger and express trains were discontinued following the closure of the Dhanbad-Chandrapura section. Out of these, seven pairs of trains from Dhanbad station have started plying through the Dhanbad-Gomoh section, he said. In the beginning, freight trains will ply on the route followed by passenger trains.
The closure of the line has hit over five lakh residents of Katras and adjoining Sonardih, Bhatmurna, Nawagarh, Baghmara, Angarpathra, Bansjora, Sijua and Jamuniatand. They used to come to Katras using the Dhanbad-Chandrapura-Muri passenger train which is among the trains that have stopped running.