How much the spongy “Rosogolla” can prove injurious to railways’ health? “A lot,” one would instantly say given some 40-hour rail blockade over the divine taste of a particular variety of ‘Rosogolla’—a South Asian syrupy dessert also known as ‘Rasgulla’, ‘Rasogola’ and ‘Rasagola’— prepared in Barahiya town of Bihar’s Lakhisarai district.

Believe it or not, the huge demand for this syrupy dessert during this current wedding season resulted in the disruption of train services for around 40 hours in Bihar early this week as the angry villagers squatted on tracks, seeking to stop all important trains at the local station. They wanted the stoppage of trains so that they could supply Rosogolla stocks to various parts of the country.

The local villagers and confectioners were angry as just no trains would currently stop at Barahiya railway station, dealing a blow to their sweet business. They had been seeking to restore the situation before the COVID-19 period when scores of trains would stop at this station but neither the local people’s representatives nor the railways paid any heed to their demand.

Their patience eventually ran out on Sunday when thousands of local villagers and confectioners blocked the train movement on the Patna-Howrah route of the East Central Railways by putting up tents on railway tracks and resting inside, thus bringing the movement of trains to a grinding halt for as many as 40 hours.

Such was the impact of the agitation that railways had to cancel 91 trains while the route of 131 others had to be diverted, bringing untold miseries to the railway passengers. Patna-Howrah route is considered one of the busiest railway routes on which dozens of trains run every day.

The agitation could be called off on Monday evening only after the railways gave the assurance in writing to ensure stoppage of an express train within a fortnight while other trains would follow in the next 60 days.

It takes only two hours and a payment of just Rs55 to reach Patna from Barahiya by train but the road transport buses had not only been charging triple the amount but also consuming double the time for the same. That was in addition to extra charges for carrying their goods which irked the local villagers.

Barahiya, a small town some 120 KM east of Patna, has been famous for preparing a special variety of Rosogolla which has a huge demand even outside the state. The importance of the Rosogolla business can be underlined by the fact that as many as 250 shops are engaged in this business in the small town and tons of Rosogolla are prepared every day.

The sweets prepared there are sent to places like even UP and Jharkhand, apart from being supplied in various places across the state but the non-stoppage of trains severely affected the sweet business.

- The Statesman