| Passengers queue up in large numbers at Patna Junction to buy tickets on Wednesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Festivals over, people are finding it hard to return to their workplaces because of “no room” in trains.
Patna Junction on Wednesday was packed with passengers running from pillar to post to get confirmed or even reservation against cancellation (RAC) tickets. But most of them returned disappointed. Though the railways are running 18 special trains to clear the rush, most people are looking for tickets in regular trains. A few who booked tickets in the special trains appeared hassled after getting no information about their position.
Amir Iqbal (19), a student of Kavikulguru Institute of Technology and Science (KITS), Nagpur, was found waiting for Patna-Jabalpur Special train (1712) at platform number one. He was tensed because he could not get any information regarding the train.
“I have to attend classes from Friday. But I have no information about the Patna-Jabalpur Special train. I enquired at the counter but the railway employees, too, had no information,” Iqbal said.
Passengers were found sleeping on the platform and were willing to catch any train that could take them to their destinations. But most of the important trains had “no room”.
Rahul Kumar (25) was found waiting for Sanghmitra Express (12296) with an RAC ticket. “I had come to celebrate Chhath with my family but now I am not getting any ticket to Hyderabad. I am waiting for Sanghmitra Express with an RAC ticket. I will request the ticket collector to allot me a seat. I have to reach on time to attend office,” Rahul said.
Getting confirmed tickets was impossible on Rajdhani Express (12309), Sampoorna Kranti Express (12393), Sanghmitra Express (12296), Shramjeevi Express (12391), Patna-Pune Express (12150), Poorva Express (12304), Upasana Express (12328), Rajendra Nagar-Lokmanya Tilak Express (13201) and Vibhuti Express (12334).
The waiting list in some of these trains has crossed 300 in the sleeper class . However, East Central Railway chief public relations officer Amitabh Prabhakar felt the special trains were enough to take care of the inflow of passengers.
“To cater to the needs of passengers, we are running several special trains for the festival. I admit that tickets are not available in most of the regular trains but there are a few special trains, which are yet to be booked to the capacity. I would request people to avail them.”
Seats in trains to the national capital like Patna-New Delhi special train (04001), Patna-Anand Vihar Superfast Special train (03209) and Gaya-Delhi Special train (02397) were available on Wednesday.
The East Central Railway is also running special trains like Howrah-Raxaul Puja Special train (03043/03044) and Kolkata-Gorakhpur Puja Special (03131/03132) to meet the demand.