The festive mood is back in Jamshedpur and so is the familiar rush of hundreds jostling for train tickets at various reservation centres of Tatanagar.
With the festival of colours round the corner, seats in all Bihar-bound buses and trains, including those to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh via Bihar, have been booked. Getting confirmed berths on trains has become nearly impossible.
The reservation lists of three Bihar-bound trains — Tata-Chhapra Express, Tata-Danapur Express and Tata-Patna South Bihar Express — already show zero availability for March 23, 24 and 25.
Officials at the computerised reservation centre at Tatanagar revealed that long-distance trains via Bihar, such as Puri-New Delhi-Purushottam Superfast Express, Neelanchal Express and others, also had long waiting lists.
Passengers, many of who are employees of Tata Steel and its associate companies or businessmen, have demanded extra coaches in trains heading for Bihar to ease the rush. The Chottanagpur Passengers’ Association has also voiced the same demand.
“People like to visit their native place during Holi. It is the railways’ duty to make temporary arrangements. We have requested the South Eastern Railway to provide extra coaches in Bihar-bound trains to ease the rush,” said a senior functionary of Chotanagpur Passengers’ Association.
Tuesday saw waiting lists in these trains crossing the 130 mark. The maddening rush is expected to remain till Holi, which is on March 27. However, berths are booked till the end of the month.
Tatanagar station manager Rajeshwar Choudhary said the railways added extra coaches during Holi every year.
“This year, too, we have requested the Garden Reach headquarters of South Eastern Railway to provide extra compartment in Bihar-bound trains,” added Choudhary.
Apart from trains, there are around 30 private and government buses that leave Jamshedpur for Bihar daily. However, there is a mad rush for seats on these as well.
“Almost 90 per cent seats have been booked from March 25 to 27,” said a member of Jamshedpur Bus Owners’ Association, adding that they expected the remaining seats to be filled up soon.