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Duronto, more trains, on wish list

Passengers and trade outfits of Ranchi and Jamshedpur have come up with a wish list ahead of the railway budget in 2014, including Duronto and Janshatabdi links to key cities of Jharkhand and Bihar as well as metros.

Members of Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI) met Ranchi divisional railway manager Gajanan Mallya on Wednesday and handed to him a list. On Thursday, Mallya confirmed he had received the demand letter.

According to the demand letter, the railways should include important trains such as Duronto Express — connecting Ranchi with New Delhi — along with others that will link the state capital to destinations such as Goa, Ahmedabad, Secunderabad and Raipur.

“It will be a great if trains to Goa, Ahmedabad, Secunderabad and Raipur are introduced,” said FJCCI general secretary Pawan Kumar Sharma.

Travellers from Ranchi would also like the railways to increase the frequency of important trains like Ranchi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express and Garib Rath Express.

The FJCCI members have also requested the railways to increase the frequency of Rajdhani Express from three days a week to once every day and Garib Rath Express from two days a week to three.

“We have urged the railways to recruit sufficient coolies at Ranchi and Hatia stations. Plus, availability of trolleys will be a great help, especially for senior citizens and women,” Sharma added.

However, passengers from the steel city will like the railways to offer a separate ambulance coach in Tatanagar-Yesvantpur Superfast Express as it ferries many patients from the city to Bangalore.

“Patients and their families face a lot of difficulties to get berths in this train. It will be a noble initiative if railways add an ambulance coach,” said Arun Tiwari, general secretary of Chotanagpur Passenger Association.

The coach should have saline water, blood and oxygen, he added.

Tiwari also pressed for greater frequency of the train. “This Bangalore-bound train, also frequently used by Tirupati pilgrims, is available only on Fridays. If it starts running every day, it will be a boon for steel city passengers,” he said.

A third Tata-Patna Janshatabdi, linking Jamshedpur and Patna, is also on demand.

Passengers want the services of Tata-Bhagalpur Express to resume. During October, the train ran for only six days and was abruptly terminated.

“Many demands in the letter are not in our hands. But we will forward them to higher authorities,” said Mallya.