Languid and inefficient attitude of North Indian Railways staff was proved on Thursday evening as several passengers travelling by the popular Amritsar New Delhi Shatabadi train complained that neither air conditioning nor the lights were functional in most compartments.
They said that so was the case right from the origin destination Amritsar and train was moving on in the same state. Due to severe suffocation, passengers rushed to the exit doors and kept them opened for the flow of air in the compartment. Children cried on top of their voice and as many women and elderly passengers were on board, they faced a hard time.
A group of seven doctors who boarded the train from Ludhiana shared with HT over phone that as they stepped in the train, they felt as if they entered an ‘oven’ and passengers were full of complaints. “It was shocking that a train like Shatabadi can offer such a bad experience. On one hand, the tickets are so expensive and on other hand, passengers are made to suffer. However, passengers in several groups contacted the ticket checkers and supervisors and asked them for compensation who told us that on arrival in Delhi, we shall be compensated but we would know about it only at arrival”, said Dr. Gaurav Sachdeva who further asked, “What if there is any mishappening due to so much of suffocation? Will the Indian Railways pay for it?”
His counterpart Dr. Pardeep Handa added, “Most passengers took magazines and newspapers in hand to use them as fans and I feel none of the passengers traveling today with this train shall think of travelling again on it. Why the concerned officials did not check and no one bothered to repair it on some station.”
Meanwhile, as HT contacted the RK Sharma, Traffic inspector of Ludhiana Railway zone, he said at each station this train halts only for few minutes and it is possible to repair anything within this short duration. Yashwant Singh, station supervisor said, “I know the air conditioning and lights are not functional in today’s evening shatabadi from Amritsar. It is fault of Amritsar staff who should have checked. However, we have identified a generator problem which we will try fixing up before it reaches Delhi on some station. I also would like to say that maintenance of most trains is in Delhi and it will be taken seriously by the railway staff and in future shall not be repeated.”