Ratlam division of Western Railway is under fire for not making adequate arrangements on Sunday when over 10,000 students, mostly from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar, had come to Indore for taking the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exam.
Unlike some other divisions such as Kota division, the Western Railways did not attach extra general coaches or run special trains to ease the rush.
There was complete chaos at Indore railway station as the students not only entered the reserved compartments of Bhopal-bound trains and blocked the passageway and toilets, but in their rush to board the train, also caused inconvenience to people who had to get down at the station.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, railway officials admitted that they had failed to anticipate the rush and make adequate arrangements for Sunday. "Extra coaches could have been attached. However, a decision to run a special train is taken at our headquarters," an official said. "The railway police do try to forcefully remove the students from reserved coaches but they manage to board again. The train also gets delayed in the process," he said. Western Railway PRO (Ratlam division) Jitendra Kumar Jayant could not be contacted for comments.
In Indore alone, 42,848 students had enrolled to take the railway recruitment exam at different centres out of which more than 13,600 students turned up. While no exact estimates are available, thousands of students turned up at the railway station at around 1pm and crowded three platforms. As soon as the train bound for Bhopal arrived at the platform number 4, the students rushed to board the train. In ensuing chaos, people who has to get down at the station were stuck. It was only after the railway police personnel intervened that people could alight from the train.
This was the second consecutive Sunday when Indore railway station witnessed chaotic scenes because of overcrowding by students. On November 2, the students had entered the reserved compartments of Indore-Patna special premium train and blocked the passageways and the toilets. Passengers travelling in that train also complained that they could not enter the toilets as it was locked from inside by groups of students who did not find any other space. Also, they did not get the meals that they had paid for while booking the tickets. Also, no official came to check their tickets or to ask those without confirmed reservation to move to general compartment. Several passengers have registered their complaint with the officials concerned but no action has been taken so far.