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Cold derails travel plan, trade

The biting cold in the national capital and the late running of trains because of fog over the past one week prompted several cancellation of tickets on Delhi-bound trains.

Uncertainty over the duration of the journey and cancellation of 10 trains last week unnerved several passengers. They thought rescheduling their travel plan would be wiser than suffering on the way and cancelled their tickets.

“As trains are taking a lot of time to reach Delhi, people are cancelling tickets. Even Rajdhani Express (12309/12310) is taking around 24 hours to reach the national capital instead of 12 hours. The delay in trains resulted in large-scale cancellation of tickets. Probably, for the first time Bhagalpur-New Delhi Garib Rath Express (22405) via Rajendra Nagar Terminus was cancelled today (Tuesday) because of lack of passengers,” a reservation clerk told The Telegraph at Patna Junction.

Several passengers were seen cancelling their Delhi-bound tickets at the railway reservation counters in the city on Tuesday.

West Lohanipur resident Rohit Kumar, who cancelled his Vikramshila Express (12368) ticket at a counter at Patna Junction, said: “This train is already running late by eight hours. There is no use of boarding it. It is better to wait for some days and go to New Delhi only after the weather clears up.”

The cancellation of tickets has come as a boon to waitlisted passengers. The 36th waitlisted AC two-tier passenger of Tuesday’s Rajdhani Express got a confirmed berth. Usually, not more than 10 waitlisted AC two-tier passengers of Rajdhani get confirmed berths.

While the fog derailed the travel plans of several passengers, the ongoing day cold condition in the city has hit the business of several shops and eateries. With hardly anybody coming out of house except for going to workplaces, the marketplaces sported a deserted look on Tuesday.

Maurya Lok Complex looked almost empty when The Telegraph visited it on Tuesday. It was a dull day for big shops as well small eateries. There were no takers for pav-bhajis, rolls and Chinese dishes.

Rajesh Kumar alias Dablu, a snacks centre owner, said the prevalent cold condition in the city had hit his business big time.

“The sale has gone down by 70 per cent because of the cold. On normal days, around 700 to 800 people visit my stall. But now the footfall has gone down to 150 to 200 people,” Rajesh said.

“Earlier, I used to open my stall at 9am. But now I am opening it at 11.30am because my employees avoid coming early citing the chilly weather. As a result, I am missing out on some customers,” he said, adding that his income has gone down but expenses on salaries of employees and electricity bill have remained the same.