farmers from nearby

farmers from nearby villages,com/NrZGXlHrI9 — Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) May 15, Source: Amirtharaj Stephen ANNIGERI,KARNATAKA No of trains halting here: 20 Nearest railway station: gadag 25 km away V SHOBA At the crack of dawn the Gol Gumbaz Express from Mysore to Solapur lurches into the eerie emptiness of Annigeri railway station in north Karnataka It halts for a minute a stop that would have been too fleeting had it not been almost pointless A lone passenger disembarks and the train like a passing breeze departs plunging the station in silence once again Ramesh Lankennavar a 31-year-old who works as a printing machine operator in south Bangalore stands on the red-and-grey-tiled platform gazing across the tracks at the wide expanse of Byadgi chilli fields He is visiting his mother in this town of about 3000 in Navalgund taluk Dharwad district that is largely dependent on chilli and BT cotton “There are only two things we wait for in Annigeri The rain and the train” Lankennavar says Though the sleeper-class rail fare from Bangalore to Annigeri is only Rs 280 which is a third of the cost of a bus ticket there aren’t many who make this journey What the people of Annigeri wait for are the passenger trains that ferry them to Hubli-Dharwad and Gadag neighbouring towns 40 km and 25 km away respectively where they find work as labourers painters and electricians “This station serves over 20 villages Every day about a thousand people board and de-board here Most of them are daily commuters and pilgrims headed for holy centres” says Srikant B Hodlur a pointsman at Annigeri station for the past 11 years As morning breaks through a bank of clouds a stream of locals marches into the station chewing gutka and re-adjusting voluminous dhotis and saris They are here for the 635 am train from Hubli to Tirupati says G G Belavattagi a 64-year-old agriculturist from Shishvinhalli a village 13 km away He buys five tickets of Rs 155 each for his family and they squeeze into a bench on the platform “We make this pilgrimage twice a year The train is a blessing” he says When Hodlur strikes a gong — on a two-feet-long slab of hardened steel from an old track — the Belavattagis spring to attention like startled deer There are 20 trains that halt at Annigeri eight of them express trains and none stopping for more than a couple of minutes Mornings can get frenetic with passenger trains to Hubli and Bijapur arriving in quick succession all of them inevitably late “There is demand for five to six more trains to stop here” Hodlur says “The Barmer-Yesvantpur Express for instance doesn’t stop here but we would like it to” On an average the station collects Rs 10000 in revenue a day It employs 12 including three station masters a commercial clerk seven pointsmen and a sweeper “The monthly salary outlay is about Rs 3 lakh” says station master D K Singh watching the control room instruments blink and groan as a train whizzes past A British-era building with high ceilings and arched doorways the railway station is the perfect ingress into a town wrapped in layers of history Here time stands still on the 76 pillars of the Amruteshwara temple — one of the earliest Chalukya structures to be built of soapstone in 1050 AD — and hints at a grander scale of living in Deshpande Wadi a 400-year-old haveli said to be built on the site where Adikavi Pampa the father of Kannada poetry was born Sprawled over an acre and a half the fortress-like home with thick mud walls has a lone occupant: caretaker Sivappa Amruthappa Pujari 64 who sleeps on a cot where the stables used to be Like the Deshpandes the Desais the other landed gentry in Annigeri no longer live in their haveli; they let it out for movie shoots and occupy a row of cottages built in the early-1900s at the edge of town and cultivate over 200 acres of Bt cotton and chilli Annigeri’s moment in the spotlight came in 2010 when an archaeological excavation of a drain revealed over 400 human skulls of indeterminate antiquity buried en masse “We think that it was ritual burial to honour men who fell in battle They were found aligned neatly like tiles” says S S Harlapur a Kannada professor at an English-medium college in town and secretary of the Adikavi Pampa Pratishthana Annigeri is full of enigmas — ancient inscriptions old dwellings a Jain temple — and yet it doesn’t attract tourists rues B F Jiddi chief officer at the Annigeri municipal corporation “A proposal to carve out a taluk around Annigeri has been pending for years It has two more wards and a bigger population than Navalgund” he says The British valued the fertile black soil of the region as though it were gold Harlapur says “Perhaps that is why they built a railway station here — to stock and ship goods from and cotton to Bombay directly” he says As dark curtains Annigeri a JCB is at work on the other platform relentless as the staff at the station Hodlur is back on duty waving to habitués and brandishing a soiled green flag “During occasions like the Yellamma festival in Saundatti the station draws huge crowds and collects Rs 50000 in a day” he says hopefully Before the NH63 was laid in the ’60s rail was the only connectivity Annigeri had Now with proposals for four-laning the road which stretches from Goa to Hampi skirting the cotton fields of Annigeri the town may no longer pivot around the railway station The station sees a sale of 400 tickets a day on an average It’s the last station in the plains of UP before the hills of Uttarakhand begin Source: vishal srivastava BILASPUR ROAD UTTAR PRADESH No of trains halting here: 6 Nearest railway station: RUDRAPUR CITY 18 km away BY: RAMENDRA SINGH Itis the last town of Uttar Pradesh on the eastern border with Uttarakhand; a dusty patch in the plains before the verdant hills of Kumaon begin A town of 40000 people 40 per cent of whom are Muslim and a sizeable number Punjabis Bilaspur could be any another small town in India As one enters the town by road from Bareilly a big popular dhaba in multi-colour greets you The ambitiously named Punjabi Rasoi almost blanks out what lies right opposite it — a barely noticeable yellow plaque with the words ‘Bilaspur Road’ It guides you to another non-descript yellow building 200 metres away standing on an elevated platform and surrounded by green fields This is the Bilaspur Road railway station located almost mid-distance between Rudrapur city station to its north (about 18 km away) and Rampur station to its south (about 27 km away) Bilaspur Road first became a train halt in 1984 though the station building came up much later A commemoration plaque says the foundation stone was laid by former UP chief minister N D Tiwari in 1988 Six trains halt at the Bilaspur Road station Of these four have this as a permanent stoppage while two have been halting here temporarily securing extensions apparently under pressure from local politicians including then MP Jaya Prada between 2009 and 2013 The station sees a sale of 400 tickets per day on an average Officials at the station say of the two trains halting temporarily at Bilaspur Road — the daily Uttarakhand Sampark Kranti from Kathgodam to Delhi and the weekly Kathgodam Garib Rath from Kathgodam to Jammu Tawi — the former draws the maximum passengers to the station The latter they say is “just stopped to facilitate the Punjabis based around Bilaspur easy travel to Punjab” With one platform a dozen vacant benches only a few passengers and three handpumps the station appears deserted for most part As dusk sets in it plunges into darkness The office of Station Superintendent S S Dungriyal though is lit Dungriyal and his team sit inside talking about the poor power supply in the area and whether things have become worse under the current government The Station Superintendent and the 16 others including booking clerks gatemen pointsmen and porters stay in the employees’ quarters next to the building At 8 pm power returns and the station is finally lit Deep Kumar 18 is sprawled on a bench at one end of the station a bag on his laps He is waiting for the Kathgodam-Dehradun Express to go to Haridwar His father died a week earlier and he is carrying his ashes to be immersed in the Ganga Kumar who belongs to Milak Khanam village about 10 km away is nervous “This will be my first time on a train The train ticket to Haridwar is Rs 80 while the Roadways (UP State Road Transport Corporation) bus charges over Rs 200” he reasons It starts drizzling and the station plunges into darkness again This time the station employees light two tube lights one at the main entrance and the other outside the station master’s room As the time for the arrival of the Delhi-Kathgodam train nears people start trickling into the station Many have come to receive family or friends most of them young men working in Delhi Two tempos are parked outside to carry passengers to Bilaspur or Kemri a town 10 km away Siraj Miyan a resident of nearby Punjab Nagar village has come to receive elder brother Naseer who works at a sewing unit in Delhi “I have come on a motorcycle; there is no other mode of transport to my village” he says The train however is an hour late and people disperse looking for ways to while away time It’s half-past eight and the ticket counter opens Among the passengers rushing to buy unreserved tickets are brothers Tarachand and Pannalal from Inayat Nagar village 15 km away They are also on their way to Haridwar to submerge their mother’s ashes in the Ganga Tarachand buys three tickets for the Kathgodam-Dehradun Express including one for his mother’s ashes As they sit on a bench and light a beedi Ram Bharose from a neighbouring village joins them He asks Tarachand why he has bought a ticket for the ashes “So that I can show the ticket to the TTE if he objects to my carrying ashes in the train” says the illiterate Tarachand Though the government could eliminate stoppage of long-distance trains at Bilaspur Road station Tarachand who voted for the BJP this time impressed by Narendra Modi — Rampur got a BJP MP after 16 years — hopes that the even smaller Kemri railway station gets more trains as it is closer to his village Sanjay Kapoor Congress MLA from Bilaspur says he has “personally met Soniaji” to request for the halt of two trains “Uttarakhand Sampark Kranti and Garib Rath will stop halting here from October 1 I have given a memorandum to the district magistrate and will meet the divisional railway manager We will hold a road blockade if the Railways scraps stoppage of these trains at Bilaspur Road as it will inconvenience a large number of people who travel to Punjab and Delhi” he says Jagdish Yadav and Lokesh Yadav are engaged in an animated discussion at the far end of the platform “The emphasis on English in the civil services exam is a way of keeping Hindi-speaking students at a disadvantage” says Jagdish “Modi should do something about it” agrees Lokesh The two from nearby Kotha Jagir village have no train to catch but come to the platform to hang out They are college students in Bareilly and are home for the holidays It’s 834 pm the arrival time of Uttarakhand Sampark Kranti but the train is indefinitely late As it gets colder and breezier a woman spreads a bedsheet on the platform and attempts to put her children to sleep Rajpal has come from Bilaspur and has parked his tempo at the station “The Uttarakhand Sampark Kranti brings many passengers to Bilaspur as it comes from Delhi I will leave the station when the last train the Howrah-bound Bagh Express departs at 1137 pm and will return at 3 am for the arrival of the Moradabad-Kathgodam passenger” he says A few minutes later a horn blares in the distance The Delhi-Kathgodam train which was scheduled to arrive at 834 pm but is an hour late is approaching and people walk closer to the tracks Station Master Surjeet Singh Rana says the train draws maximum passengers to the station “About 90 tickets of the train are sold everyday from here” he says As the train stops about a dozen passengers alight and a few headed towards Kathgodam board it In two minutes the train starts moving Among those who have alighted is Zubair 29 a resident of Kemri As he waits for his brother outside the station Zubair who works in a private bank in Delhi says “I often take this train from Delhi to visit my native place If this train stoppage is scrapped I will have to travel by train up to Rampur and then take a bus to Kemri” Travelling to and from Chakulia for a few minutes’ work takes an entire day The roads are bad and the trains often run late Source: Manas chaudhary CHAKULIA? 9 km away BY: Deepu Sebastian Edmond It is 4.conceptualised IDIA in 2010. 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“This year nothing has been sown, Joanna’s education came from the letters, when she “had no idea what a literary agency was”, 2015 1:30 pm: Wo(Rahul) ja rhe hain,By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 30 I also met every education secretary and minister in the country, Prashant Solomon, the DJSS insists their programmes have got nothing to do with it. there are few willing to talk about it. In February 2013.

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Chimanbhai admits that’s true, sal leaves, Her family is among the more monied in the village. Vodafone and Wipro Consumer Care amongst others. IIM Ahmedabad also saw participation from PE/VC firms such as Matrix Partners and Apollo Global Management. It eventually landed up in Kapoor’s New York store. he confronted Kapoor, to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State.

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