‘Mardan Railway station’s reopening not possible in near future’

MARDAN, 07 February: Closed in 2007, the Mardan Railway station is still far away from being reopened causing innumerable difficulties to the local people.
“There is no possibility of the reopening of the station in near future. The building which once housed the offices, has now been rented out to the local traders,” informed station master Mumtaz Khan, who has been supervising the station for years.
“In 2007, when the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was murdered in Islamabad in a suicide blast, violent protest had erupted all over the country. Public and private properties worth billion of rupees were damaged, he recalled.
“Railway was not spared at all. More than 250 railway engines were put on fire. After that incident, the Mardan station was closed down,” Mumtaz said.
Due to those riots, not only Pakistan Railway suffered billions of rupees loss but a large number of people across the country were also affected, the station master opined.
According to local people, before the closure of the station, train used to come to Mardan via Risalpur and Noshera which would also go up to Charsada and Dargai.
“The train was not only carrying passengers, it also used to transport goods, cargo and even dak,” said a local. “Large number of people’s livelihood was also connected with the train service,” he added.
The train service was also helpful for the local business community as it proved to be a cheaper source of transportation.
“Train service is three times cheaper than the road transportation,” said Zahir Shah, president of Mardan Chamber of Commerce while talking to TNN.
“Due to the closure of the station, our goods first land in Noshera and then we transport them here in trucks due to which not only the charges go high, sometimes the goods also get damaged,” Shah added.
He demanded that government should seriously think of reopening the station.

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