With festival of colours over and passengers returning to their respective destinations, rush has once again returned to Patna , Rajendra Nagar terminal and Pataliputra junctions of the East Central Railway (ECR).
Despite the ECR operating 10 Holi special trains in Sonepur, Danapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai and Samastipur railway divisions, to clear up the rush, passengers complained that they had a harrowing time returning from Bihar after Holi.
Many passengers said that despite having reserved berths they were not able to occupy them, as their berths were taken up by those having unconfirmed tickets. They alleged that train ticket examiners (TTE) were virtually non-existent. Even cops were busy checking passenger baggage for liquor, rather than ensuring that only bonafide passengers, holding confirmed tickets, travelled on reserved berths on trains.
Bihar has enforced total prohibition since April 5, 2016.
Shailendra Kumar of Kankarbagh, who got a Patna-Delhi tatkal ticket for his son going to New Delhi, a day after Holi on Wednesday, said: “My elder son travelled by the Sampoorna Kranti Express to New Delhi. Though my son had a confirmed berth but it was occupied by someone else, not holding a confirmed ticket. No ticket examiner visited the compartment and it was free for all throughout the journey.”
Ravinder Kumar of Nehru Nagar locality in Patna said, “The journey to Patna was horrible with no Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel willing to help us occupy our reserved berths. Scores of passengers, holding unreserved tickets, had occupied our berths. However, both GRP and RPF kept searching our bags for alcohol at many places. Hope the return journey is not a repeat of the same.”
Prabhat Singh, travelling with his family to Surat, said, “We limited our luggage to bare essentials to avoid harassment by police in the name of bag checking for liquor.” He lamented that some individuals, claiming to be cops in civil uniform, dropped in and even scanned his smart phone to check if it contained pornographic visuals.
Anita Devi, another passenger from Mithapur locality in Patna, complained that train announcement at station was not audible due to the heavy rush of passengers . She thanked porters for helping her board the train.
However, students Ritesh Kumar, Varun Kumar and Anjani Prakash, travelling from Patna to New Delhi were mentally prepared that the return journey will not be easy. “Rush in trains is common during festivals,” the students said in chorus.