People going to their native places in Bihar or UP for 'Chatth Pooja' are a harried lot alleging lack of proper arrangements by the city railway station. Though northern railway has introduced a few trains to cater to the rush, still passengers didn't find it sufficient. One 'Chatth Pooja' special train also ran on Monday evening from Amritsar to Saharsa witnessing huge crowd.
The east-bound trains like Amrapali, Howrah Mail, Jannayak, Jansewa and Akal Takht Express, etc., were fully packed with people hanging on the doors.
A passenger, Alok Kumar, said, “They might have introduced a few trains, but the timings and days for those trains were not popularised, thus many couldn't be benefitted. Moreover, running two-three more trains for 'Chatth Pooja' is not sufficient, as Ludhiana has a huge population of migrant labourers. Besides, the number of counters is not sufficient to deal with hundreds of passengers.”
Bulbul, who was going to Gorakhpur with her kids, said, “There should be a separate line for women. There is so much rush that getting tickets has become difficult. I have already missed a train just because I couldn't procure the ticket on time.”
She said, “The station must have a counter for general tickets for trains standing on the platform. This will help passengers get tickets easily. There is a need for more women coaches in trains during festive season to make it safe for women to travel alone.”
A social activist, AN Mishra, said, “Every year such rush is seen on the station during 'Chatth Pooja'. But still no proper arrangements are being made. People couldn't get space to sit on the platform, even if they had to wait for hours. The booking counters are not sufficient and the police too behave badly with the migrant labourers.”
Station superintendent Ravinder Kumar Sharma said, “We had made all arrangements for 'Chatth Pooja'. One booking counter was also increased on Monday to provide tickets to passengers. But as the rush remains more during Chatth festival, it becomes difficult to shorten long ques.”
Feasibility report still incomplete
Meanwhile, the feasibility report for the train stoppage at Dhandhari Kalan station could not be made till now. Northern railway chief commercial manager had sought this report during his visit to the station. Divisional traffic manager (DTM) SP Bhatia said, “Stoppage of trains at new station is a technical thing and we have to study each and every aspect of it. The work on feasibility reports is under process, but it will take time to get complete.”