Pune: The summer vacation has begun and passengers of north-bound trains have booked tickets to their hometowns.
They are booking tickets while there is a waiting list of more than 400. The passengers have demanded that these special trains be run twice a week. The accommodation of the north-bound trains is an average of 150 per cent in all coaches (2 AC, 3 AC and sleeper).
The Pune railway division has started special trains from Pune to Gorakhpur, Patna and Manduadih from April first week.
According to the railway officials, the special trains are running with more than capacity. “The purpose to run these trains is to avoid the crowd on the regular trains. These special trains are running once a week. There are some trains running from past one year not fully accommodated by passengers. It a loss for the railway,” said the highly placed officer of the Pune railway division.
Railways has started special train from Pune to Santragchi (train number 02821), which runs every Monday. Mostly, the trains are not fully occupied. This is an AC special train and the fare of the train charge is as special.
“This is an AC train and the occupancy of this train is 95 per cent, which is good but not better than the northbound trains,” said sources.
The data available with Sakal Times shows that Pune-Santragchi special train’s occupancy between December and March is 95 per cent. Similarly, the Pune-Jammu Tavi Jhelum Express has 160 per cent in second AC, 164 per cent in third AC and 190 per cent in the sleeper. Same with the Pune-Gorakhpur 122 per cent accommodation on second AC, 118 per cent on third AC and 160 per cent on the sleeper. The Pune-Patna train has occupancy of 132 per cent in second AC, 120 per cent in third AC and 142 per cent in the sleeper.
However, railway activists claim that the railways has eyed only to earn money not to provide facilities to the passengers.
“The railway is not providing any facilities to passengers during the journey. They are running special trains once a week. They have to run it twice a week. Most of the passengers booked their tickets and when the ticket is not confirmed, they approach the TTE for accommodating them in the sleeper class and get seats if available. The railway is earning only money. If they run special trains twice a week the passengers will have more chances to get seats and railway will earn more money, besides running vacant trains,” said activist Harsha Shah. However, the railways are claiming that they have already approached the board to run special trains for northbound passengers twice and thrice a week.
“We have already approached the railway board to run Pune-Patna special trains thrice a week, also Pune-Gorakhpur special should run twice a week. The DRM is also personally looking into it and he spoke to the senior officials,” said Krishnath Patil, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager.