The Rail Budget may have showered many goodies on Lucknow, but commuters are still yearning for more - they want improvement in passenger safety and amenities. In fact, they do not mind paying extra, if at all the existing services are improved.
The budget tabled i n Parliament on Tuesday had at least six express trains connecting Lucknow to many important cities. These include one of the most sought-after Lucknow-Jaipur (tri-weekly), Bandra terminus-Ramnagar Express (weekly) via Lucknow, Yesvantpur-Lucknow Express (weekly) and Lucknow-Varanasi Express (6 days a week). Besides, there are many passenger/local trains, new railway lines and gauge conversion announcements for UP.
By and large commuters have welcomed increased train connectivity, but at the same time they want improvement in the existing system. “Indeed, trains to Jaipur and Mumbai are a welcome sign. But it would have been better had there been some arrangement for enhancing existing amenities.
Look at Lucknow, we do not have platforms, how would they operate new trains,” Himanshu, another commuter said.
New announcements apart, people have also welcomed the Railways’ decision to improve the connectivity of the electronic ticketing system on IRCTC -- the official railway ticketing portal.
“This is a major problem that a common man faces. We hope the Railways makes the e-ticketing process a bit easier,” said Jagmohan Sharma, a passenger.
Though the fares have remained unchanged, reservation and Tatkal surcharges have been increased. This, and the decision to revise rates twice a year as per the regulation in diesel prices, has not received any criticism as such.
“We do not mind paying more if they improve passenger amenities like catering, ticketing and sanitation,” said Rajendra Singh.
Amid all the new announcements, the conversion of Charbagh railway station into a world class one, increasing the number of platforms and developing a railway terminal at Gomti Nagar remain unfulfilled promises this year as well.