The ease of booking a railway ticket right after landing at the Delhi airport doesn't exist any longer.
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has disconnected the electricity supply to Indian Railways counter located near Terminal 2 of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). The railways counter at the airport has been shut since May 27, the day the power connection was snapped.
Thousands of air travellers and people working at Delhi airport have been affected with this move. Passengers coming from international destinations had a special quota if they travelled by Indian Railways, but not anymore.
An Indian Railways spokesperson said they have taken up the matter with the higher authority but felt DIAL was not interested in providing them the facility. "They don't want our counter as they have given the contract to a private company, which has its counter in Terminal 3. They simply give e-tickets," said a railways officer, who didn't wish to be named.
However, DIAL sources said railways hasn't paid its rent and electricity bill from the past four years. "We sent them several reminders to clear the dues
but Indian Railways never replied," said the source. A railways spokesperson, on the other hand, said they are ready to pay, but DIAL is not cooperating.
"We were generating good revenue from there. Now a passenger who wants to travel by Indian Railways has to come all the way to New Delhi station to avail the facility offered by us to international passengers," said an Indian Railways spokesperson. The DIAL spokesperson, however, refused to comment.
"I am a regular traveller and generally take a train to Lucknow after arriving in India. Earlier, I used to take ticket from the railways counter at the airport that offers quota for international passengers. But now I am forced to take e-ticket which means I will be treated as normal passenger," said Santosh Dhawan, a businessman.
Also, there are around 40,000 people who work at the airport and were hit by this move.
"Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Delhi police, airlines, custom, immigration and employees of ground handling company work at airport and used to avail facility of the Railways counter. Now we don't have that facility," said a Delhi police officer.