Chaos prevailed at New Delhi railway station on Wednesday — Day 1 of the two-day nationwide strike called by 11 trade unions — as autos and taxis were off the road causing major problems for commuters reaching or leaving the Capital.
As Aman Sharma reached New Delhi railway station only 20 minutes before his train was about to leave, a sweat broke down his brow even on a chilly evening.
This 24-year-old came all the way from his brother’s house in Dilshad Garden with heavy luggage and minimal amount of transportation available.
“Thank God for the Metro that I managed to reach in time for my train. People hold protests and strikes but general public suffer,” he said, before dragging away his luggage inside the station.
Families were spotted all over the station premises sitting and waiting for help to arrive or arguing with porters, who were having a field day carrying luggage to the New Delhi Metro station.
“They are charging whatever they want. I paid around R200 because I had no other option,” Satish Bansal, a 55-year-old resident of Rohini, said.
Since a lot of travellers relied on Metro to reach the station and to reach their destinations in Delhi from the station, there was a huge rush of passengers at the New Delhi Metro station. There were long queues before the token windows.
Others, however, were better prepared. Kajol Jana, a housewife in her late 40s, who had come from Kolkata on New Delhi Superfast with her family members for a previously-booked car to come and drop them at their Gurgaon home.
“We had heard about this strike and knew we had to make prior arrangements,” Jana said.
The station premises sported an empty look than its usual hustlebustle with autos and taxis crowding and clogging the whole area.
“It is a good day for us with people eyeing alternate modes of transport,” Mohd Amin, a cyclerickshaw puller, said.