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Indian relief train stuck in Lahore
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December 08, 2005 22:38 IST

An Indian freight train carrying a consignment of around 1,320 tons of relief supplies for Pakistan's earthquake victims has been stranded in Lahore [Images] since November 23 over payment of customs duties, a report said on Thursday.

"At present, we have no budget for the purpose and the train cannot move further without payment of Customs duties. No official of either the federal or the provincial government has formally received the train yet," the Pakistan daily Dawn quoted a Pakistan Railway official as saying.

The train, with the third consignment of relief supplies sent by India through rail, has 22 bogie-covered wagons with blankets, tents, warm cloths, medicines and dry food items.

Handed over to Pakistan Railway authorities by their Indian counterparts, it has been stranded at the yard of the Lahore railway station since November 23, the newspaper said.

The Pakistan Railways officials however claimed that the documents provided by their Indian counterparts were incomplete and the goods were not handed over to the provincial and federal governments.

Indian High Commission officials, however, said that an official has been sent to Lahore to receive the train but he returned after being told by Pakistan Railway officials that there was no need for formal handing over as India has already dispatched two trains with relief goods earlier.

In all, India has sent four consignment of relief goods, one by plane and the rest by trains. The first three consignments were formally handed over by the Indian High Commission officials to the Pakistan officials.

The first consignment of relief supplies through a freight train had crossed Wagah on Oct 15 and the second carrying around 378 tons of goods arrived from India on Oct 18.

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