A sizeable population of Biharis settled in Jharkhand — who are looking forward to celebrate Holi with their near and dear ones — are finding it difficult to travel to their native places, thanks to the railways’ failure to provide extra coaches in existing trains.
At present, no seats are available in Bihar-bound trains from the capital, with waiting lists even crossing the 150 mark. Left with no other option, those who have failed to secure berths are now planning to take buses, which too will be overcrowded, to head to their destinations.
Reservation lists of five Bihar-bound trains from the capital — Hatia-Patna Super Express (18626), Maurya Express (15027), Ranchi-Jaynagar Express (18605), Hatia-Rajendranagar Express (18624) and Vananchal Express (13404) — show zero availability of seats from March 14 to 17.
Ranchi divisional railway manager (DRM) Deepak Kashyap pleaded helplessness.
“I tried my best to provide extra coaches in the trains. But my request to the railway headquarters in New Delhi yielded no response from the officials there. As a result, my plans to cope with the festive rush failed to materialise,” Kashyap said.
With waitlist numbers ranging between 180 and 200 in all these trains, chances of getting confirmed tickets now are remote.
“I had booked two tickets for March 15 in Maurya Express almost two months back. It’s still showing waitlist no. 175 and 176. I will board the train on Saturday from Ranchi station at 5.30pm and travel all the way sitting on the floor. I can’t help it,” said Raju Prasad, a government employee.