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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

No seats on trains, buses as people plan extended weekend

Chandandeep Kour, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 29, 2013
First Published: 10:10 IST(29/3/2013) | Last Updated: 10:11 IST(29/3/2013)

Nobody wants to waste an extended weekend after a hectic week in office and city residents are all game for it. With most offices to remain closed on Friday on account of Good Friday, city people are all set to enjoy the weekend, which is quite evident from the non-availability of seats on trains and luxury buses for the next few days.

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Local railway officials said that seats on all Shatabdi trains were already reserved. Almost 100 people were still on the waiting list of each of the morning and evening Shatabdi trains. Very few seats were available even on the afternoon Shatabdi and the remaining berths were expected to be taken up by Friday.

No wonders that booking counters at the Chandigarh railway stations are deserted, since tech-savvy commuters have already booked their tickets online.

Railway officials said that a special weekly Holi train was introduced between Chandigarh and Dibrugarh in Assam in view of festival rush, which would depart from the city on April 7 and reach Dibrugh on April 9 morning to ferry back passengers returning to Chandigarh after Holi festival. It would make 13 trips to clear the passenger rush.

Railway station superintendent Praveen Kumar said, "There is too much rush for Holi. So, we have introduced additional train and much of the passenger rush has already been taken care of. As far as the long weekend is concerned, the waiting list is long, especially for Shatabdi."

Similarly, super luxury buses of both Punjab and Haryana roadways are running to packed capacity since seats have been booked much in advance by people planning to enjoy a long weekend.

Officials deployed at the booking counters of both Punjab and Haryana roadways confirmed that their fleets were running to capacity and no seats were available this weekend.

Manoj Kumar of Sector 49 in Chandigarh rued that no tickets were available on trains. Rajesh Malhotra, a BPO executive at Gurgaon, grumbled that he had to travel to Delhi on Saturday but no seats were available on trains. "I am left with no other option but to take a cab which is very expensive," he remarked.

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