Following the Sunday stampede at New Delhi railway station, the railways have decided to run around 600 East-bound summer special trains from the Anand Vihar mega terminal inaugurated a few months ago.
The move is aimed at decreasing the congestion at New Delhi and Old Delhi stations that record a daily footfall of more than five lakh.
“We have decided to run special trains from Anand Vihar, although the mishap involved two regular trains, which run all the year round,” said Anant Swaroop, Northern Railway spokesman.
Running the special trains, however, could well be a knee-jerk reaction to the stampede that claimed two lives.
Built at a cost of Rs. 85 crore over six years, the railways always positioned Anand Vihar mega terminal as a permanent reliever of congestion in the main stations, as far as passengers to eastern parts of the country were concerned.
“The terminal was sanctioned as infrastructure to ease regular traffic load in New Delhi and Old Delhi stations. But now they are just viewing it as a place to park the seasonal special trains,” said a senior railway official on the condition of anonymity.
There is no clear answer as to why the Railway Board is not sanctioning the relocation of trains from other stations to Anand Vihar. While only eight trains are now running from this station, six more are scheduled to run from July.
But there are around seven dozen East-bound trains that run permanently from New Delhi and Old Delhi stations—much of which were supposed to be shifted.
While Vivek Sahai, member-traffic, railway board, remained unavailable for a comment, senior officials said Northern Railways had yet not decided on a final list of trains to shift permanently to Anand Vihar.