The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Staff delay spurs free rides

It was an unexpected puja bonus for several Metro rail commuters on Saturday. The booking staff of Metro Railway failed to reach Chandni Chowk station on time, leading to a few puja revellers enjoy a free ride with the permission of the authorities.

The Metro Railway authorities had launched their four-day special service for the Pujas on Saturday. At Chandni Chowk station, commuters started queuing up in front of the ticket counters from 3 pm. But as there was no one to issue tickets, the commuters started agitating. Train services from Dum Dum and Tollygunge had started at 3 pm. The authorities had no option but to allow the passengers to board the trains.

“We opened the metal gates and allowed them to board the trains. The passengers were, however, requested to buy tickets once they reached their destination. The checking staff at other stations were also asked to allow the ticketless passengers in,” said an official at the Chandni Chowk station.

The Metro Railway authorities, however, put the blame on the city traffic police for the chaos. “We have information that our staff was stuck in traffic snarls at Chittaranjan Avenue and Shyambazar. Naturally, employees from north Calcutta could not reach Chandni Chowk on time,” said a Metro Railway spokesperson.

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