New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Passenger and goods train traffic between Dhanbad and Chandrapur stations in Jharkhand will be halted from June 15 because of raging underground coal mine fire that is threatening the safety of the tracks.
Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohammad Jamshed told the media that the railways had taken the decision on the advise of the Coal Ministry.
"The Coal Ministry communicated that the situation was reassessed by the DGMS (Director General of Mines Safety), which declared that 14 km of the 35 km railway line is unsafe and said the movement of trains on this line needs to be stopped immediately."
According to Jamshed, the fire had reached just below the tracks in the Bansjora railway station limits.
The fire was also said to be raging between Sijua and Katrasgarh as well as between Katrasgarh and Sonardih.
The decision has affected many trains including 26 Express trains such as Ranchi-Howrah Shatabdi Express, Ranchi-Bhagalpur Vananchal Express, Dhanbad-Kerala Alappuza Express, Ranchi-Gorakhpur Maurya Express, Dhanbad-Bhubaneswar Garib Rath Express, Ranchi-Jayanagar Express, Hatia-Patna Patliputra Express and Ranchi-Dumka Express.
The Dhanbad-Chandrapur section is also a major route for freight trains. Coal for the thermal power plants across the country is transported from here.
The underground coal mine fire has been raging in the area since the last century. It was first detected in 1916.