Pune: If you plan to go to celebrate Diwali and Chhath Puja with your family to a town in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, then you have missed the train already. All the express trains from Pune to Patna, Gorakhpur and Darbhanga are full and the waiting list has crossed over 400. Diwali will be celebrated on November 7 and Chhath is celebrated six days later. Within a few minutes after the ticket reservation window was opened, the tickets were booked.
Chhath is one of the most important festivals, mostly celebrated in Bihar. Thousands of people located in other cities desire to celebrate this festival with their family and thus book tickets during the season. But as the demand for the tickets increased, they are now depending on Tatkal reservation which will be opened a day before the train journey.
“It is not new that the trains are jam-packed during Chhath Puja. The reservation window is opened 120 days before for booking tickets for November 8. But the current status shows that all trains have a huge waiting list. The passengers’ first choice is Pune-Patna Express but the waiting crossed 100 within a few minutes after the reservation was opened. A similar situation is with Pune-Gorakhpur Express (weekly), the waiting on this train passed 226 in just one hour,” said a booking clerk of the Pune railway
Amit Tripathi (38) was trying to book tickets to go to Chhapra in Bihar from Pune-Darbhanga Express on November 7, but the waiting list has crossed 50. “I was trying to book tickets for me, my wife and my 4-year-old son, but when the window was opened it showed the tickets on waiting. The waiting list is already 50. We have only option to go with ‘Tatkal’ reservation ticket. I will try for flight as well,” he said.
Last year during Diwali and Chhath Puja, railways had run around 4,000 special trains across the country and around 72 special trains were from Pune division.
“During these two festivals, thousands of passengers travel to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The booking already crosses the 400-mark of the waiting list. Last year we ran special trains and now this year the railways will again run special trains,” said a senior official of the Pune railway