| People sweat as they wait for train tickets at the reservation counter at Visvesvaraya Bhavan on Bailey Road in Patna. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Fans kaput, booking train tickets at the railway reservation counter at Visvesvaraya Bhavan on Bailey Road is a tiring affair in most part of the year. In summer, it is more sapping.
The 10x6sqft lobby at the railway reservation counter, which caters to the ticket needs of people residing in upscale Boring Road and Bailey Road areas, is operating without a fan for the past one year. It is not that the hallway has no fan. There are two. But neither rotates, forcing ticket seekers to count every drop of sweat in the scorching heat.
The two fans are not working from May 2011 but not a single railway official is allegedly concerned about the common people’s plight.
Manoranjan Kumar, who had come to the reservation centre to book a ticket for Ranchi, said: “Booking a ticket from Visvesvaraya Bhavan counter is a test of patience as well as physical stamina. One has to stand in a long queue for hours in sultry weather. The defunct fans add to the trauma.”
Manoranjan added: “I have been visiting the counter for the past one year to book tickets but I have never seen the fans work. During the summer, it is suffocating if the place is too crowded. The two huge fans fixed side by side on the walls are just showpieces.”
Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Gardanibagh who had come to book tickets for Agra, said: “The railway employees sitting inside the ticket counters are least bothered about our problems. They have all the facilities from fans to air-conditioners but common people are left to sweat in this unbearable heat.”
A railway official sitting inside the reservation counter said: “Three months ago we had shot a letter to the commissioner of railway safety, Patna Junction, regarding the fans. He had forwarded the letter to Danapur railway division but no action has been taken yet. We can only inform the officials concerned but we are helpless if they don’t take any action.”
The chief public relations officer of East Central Railway, Neeraj Ambastha, said he had no information about the defunct fans at Visvesvaraya Bhavan.
Ambastha said: “Let me find out who is supposed to look after the infrastructure facilities like maintenance of fans — Visvesvaraya Bhavan authorities or the railway. Thereafter, the department concerned will be asked to repair the fans.”