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Siliguri: RAILWAY authorities have clarified their stand in view of recent reports published in Siliguri based news media that the popular Darjeeling Mail is being extended to Alipurduar Jn in the Dooars.

Darjeeling Mail now plies between Sealdah and New Jalpaiguri. It is the most favoured train for people of Siliguri for overnight travel in Kolkata and back. Extending the train to Alipurduar Jn will affect the train as there is speed restriction on the stretch between NJP and Alipurduar.

On coming across the news, Siliguri Mayor and MLA, Ashok Bhattacharya, issued a Press statement earlier this week and urged railway authorities to refrain from such a decision, if the news is true. He mentioned that people of Siliguri are already suffering ever since Sealdah-NJP Padatik Express was extended to Alipurduar.

Responding to this, Pranav Jyoti Sharma, chief public relations officer of Northeast Frontier Railway, has issued a statement this evening clarifying that “no such decision has been taken to extend the Darjeeling Mail train to Alipuduar.”

“It is to be mentioned that Darjeeling Mail is a popular train of the region with primary maintenance at Sealdah division of Eastern Railway. Extending the train would involve Eastern Railway because of possible changes in timings, etc. which would be required if the train is to move to Alipurduar,” the statement reads.

“Moreover the broad gauge-III section of Alipurduar division i.e. the route via Sevok, New Mal Jn, etc. has a large number of speed restrictions imposed due to elephant movement, which would result in the train taking much longer time to go to Alipurduar from New Jalpaiguri and back. Therefore no such issue of extension of the train is under consideration. If any such decision is taken, the same will be duly intimated to all concerned,” Sharma has added in the statement.