The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has launched a drive to check incidents of theft of coal from goods trains in its jurisdiction by alerting its workforce and inteisifying patrolling. While the workforce have been alerted about the thriving coal theft, fequent patrolling, deputation of staff in sensitive areas have been made to check such illegal activities, a senior ECoR official said adding that special squads had also been formed to check coal smuggling.
Many such incidents have been occurring on the Bhadrak-Dhamara Port Private Rail Line under the control of the Dhamara Port, he said. The Divisional Railway Manager at Khurda Road along with the Senior Divisional Security Commissioner have taken up the matter previously with the Dhamra Port authorities and Bhadrak district police. The Railway Line from the Dhamara Port to Ranital is owned and operated by the Dhamara Port Corporation Limited and falls under the jurisdiction of the Bhadrak District Administration.
Repeated public complaints and media alerts are being received regarding theft of coal from coal loaded wagons during their run between the Dhamara Port and the Ranital station particularly near Junction Cabin near Ranital, an ECoR statement said. Video footage of the same incidents are also getting viral in social media. A group of criminals are committing theft of coal by utilising local villagers who are engaged to unload coal from the wagons of the running trains.
Since Railway Line is not within the jurisdiction of ECoR, Railway Protection Force (RPF) is unable to intervene directly. ECoR RPF authorities at Khurda Road Division are pursuing the matter with the police at Bhadrak, it said. Divisional Railway Manager/Khurda Road has once again written to the state police authorities to stop coal theft and clamp down strongly against the illegal activities,it said.