The rush to go home for Chhath has thrown up never-before-seen sights at Dhanbad railway station. Passengers are forcing their way into coaches through emergency windows or trying to hop on even before the trains have stopped.
Other long-distance public transport, especially buses, are also overcrowded.
All Bihar and Uttar Pradesh-bound trains, which are passing through or starting from Dhanbad, are chock-a-block even though extra coaches have been added to Ganga-Damodar Express and Ganga-Sutlej Express. A special train is plying from Dhanbad to Sitamarhi.
The demand is maximum in Maurya Express, which runs between Hatia and Gorakhpur. The less-preferred Dhanbad-Patna Express is also going packed. There are queues outside the general bogies with passengers entering through the emergency windows to grab seats. Scuffles over blocking seats have also become a common sight.
“We added an extra coach to Ganga-Damodar Express and Ganga-Sutlej Express on November 15 and are running a special train between Dhanbad and Sitamarhi, Bihar, from November 14 every alternate day. Yet, there is no space in the trains,” said senior divisional commercial manager, Dhanbad division, East Central Railway, Dayanand, adding that a large number of RPF personnel have been deputed at various platforms.
Medical representative Prasun Kumar had a hard time even managing a bus ticket. “I wanted to be at my native place, Punsia in Bihar, for Chhath. I tried for a bus ticket today (Friday) but didn’t get one. I had to book a ticket for tomorrow (Saturday).”