Pune: In case 1, 35-year-old Pratima Anand booked a railway ticket for May 30, as she had gone on a vacation with her one-and-a-half-year-old son to be with her family in Patna. She booked a railway ticket on a holiday special train from Patna to Pune, as there was no waiting list and reservation was easily available.
She never thought that booking a ticket on this holiday special will be a nightmare for her and her baby, as the train got delayed for more than 18 hours while reaching Pune. The train, which was supposed to arrive on June 1 at 4.05 am, arrived at 9.30 pm.
In case 2, Lal Krishan Mishra, a 42-year-old working in a private company as a deputy manager, booked his ticket on the Patna-Pune holiday special train on May 25 with four of his family members. The train was supposed to arrive on May 27, but was delayed for more than 17.16 hours. Mishra had to join office the same day. But due to the late arrival, he lost a day’s salary.
Pratima told Sakal Times, “There was a huge waiting list on the regular Danapur-Pune train, so I thought that seats are available in this train and I booked my ticket. I was unaware that this train is delayed at the departure point. The journey was horrible.
There were many passengers who had children. We did not get any regular meals in the train, as it didn’t have a pantry car.” After this experience, Pratima has vowed to never book tickets on holiday special trains.
The passengers were claiming that if a flight is delayed, they get compensation from the airlines, but that is not the case with trains. Passengers said Railways must take responsibility for train delays.
The railway administration had announced holiday special trains to clear the extra rush. The administration had started trains from Pune to Manduadih, Gorakhpur (both are unreserved trains) and Patna, which was in demand. However, since the first day itself, these special trains have always arrived late.
Data available with Sakal Times shows that these three trains depart late from its starting point and the delay continues till they arrive at their destination. As per the record, train number 01456 Manduadih-Pune’s arrival was delayed on an average of 20.30 hours, train number 01454 Gorakhpur-Pune’s arrival was delayed on an average by 27 hours and 01350 Patna-Pune’s arrival delayed on an average by 15.11 hours.
Officials of Pune railway division said that the trains depart from Pune station on time and it is up to that division (where the train arrives) to note timings.
Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relation Officer of Central Railway, told Sakal Times, “We have started holiday special trains to clear the extra rush during summer. Our responsibility is to send the train on time. We can’t do anything if the train departs late from another division.” According to the source from the Railway Board in New Delhi, divisions like Danapur, Allahabad and Gorakhpur keep delaying trains when they arrive from other divisions.