In a major goof up, an advertisement in Saturday’s newspapers by the Eastern Railway, Delhi has been shown in Pakistan and Kolkata in the Bay of Bengal!
The advertisement —announcing the launch of the Maharaja Express by Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee on March 20 — has a small map displaying the route of the train from Kolkata to Delhi via Gaya, Varanasi, Bandabhgarh, Khajuraho, Agra and Gwalior.
None of the centres displayed in India’s mini-map have been located accurately, with Varanasi shown somewhere close to Bhubaneshwar and Gaya shown in Bangladesh.
Seeking to wash its hands off the affair, the Railways has shifted responsibility for the faux pas on Ad Unique-76 — the agency assigned the contract for the advertisement.
“When it came to my approval, the faulty route map was not there. The agency people inserted it at the last hour and sent it for print without my approval,” Eastern Railways spokesman Samir Goswami said.
“The Railways have taken off the agency from its panel... We apologise for it,” he said.
Criticising the government for the goof-up, the BJP said the advertisement was an affront to the country’s sovereign pride and demanded an apology from the Prime Minister.
The Congress, however, dismissed it as a mistake. “It seems to be a mistake on the part of the Railways. However, it is a serious issue and one should take note of it ...,” party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said.
Ad Unique-76 proprietor Amiyo Chaudhary was unavailable for comments. A agency spokesman said the route alignment had been given for passengers’ benefit and was never intended to create a controversy. (With PTI inputs)