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Magadh rail users feel shortchanged

Magadh residents are unhappy that their long-pending demands for new trains, better passenger amenities and development of Gaya railway station as a model station remain unfulfilled.

By Farhana Kalam
  • Published 21.03.18
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One of the platforms at Gaya railway station. Picture by Suman

Gaya: Magadh residents are unhappy that their long-pending demands for new trains, better passenger amenities and development of Gaya railway station as a model station remain unfulfilled.

"Instead of introducing new trains, including a double-decker one on the Gaya-Howrah route, stray dogs have been given free access to the platforms, particularly platform numbers 1, 6 and 9," said Lalji Prasad, general secretary of the Grand Chord Passengers' Association.

"Here cows too share space with passengers waiting for perennially late-running trains." The association is engaged in protecting and promoting the interest of railway users of the Magadh region.

The most important demand of the passengers' body pertains to introduction of either a Jan Shatabdi Express or a double-decker train between Gaya and Calcutta. The demand has been made in view of the ever-growing volume of passenger traffic on the route.

According to RTI activist Brajnandan Pathak, much effort was not required as the new services can be provided with a single rake. The distance between Gaya and Calcutta was only 458km and not more than six hours are required, leaving enough time for rake maintenance.

A double-decker train used to run between Dhanbad and Calcutta but the service was discontinued because it was commercially non-viable. No such constraints are there in case of Gaya as, unlike Dhanbad, there are not too many trains available for Calcutta from Gaya.

The association has also been demanding increase in the frequency of nearly half a dozen weekly trains, namely Gaya-Delhi Garib Rath, Gaya-Chennai Express, Kamakhya Express and Nagpur bound Deekscha Bhumi Express.

For quite some time, the passenger body had also been demanding rescheduling of the Gaya-Chennai Express to increase its frequency from the current two-days-and-one-night journey to two-nights-and-one-day journey, thereby saving one full working day for rail users.

As of now, the train starts in the morning from both Gaya and Chennai. The passenger body has been demanding rescheduling so that the train may leave Gaya and Chennai in the evening instead of the morning.

The body also complained that the quota for Gaya on several long-distance trains passing through Gaya, including all the four Rajdhani Express trains (originating from Howrah, Ranchi, Sealdah and Bhubaneshwar) was inadequate and needed upward revision.