A lot of passengers hoping to have a comfortable train travel by purchasing AC coach tickets in this sweltering weather are in for harassment, as air conditioners in several trains are malfunctioning.
The Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi was delayed for two hours on Friday because the air conditioners were not working properly and had to be repaired. Besides, an AC coach was recently removed from the New Delhi to Amritsar Shan-E-Punjab train, due to non-functional ACs.
A passenger Jatin, who boarded the Jaynagar (Bihar) -bound Shaheed Express from Amritsar, said, “I preferred the AC coach because of the scorching weather. The 3-tier AC ticket was for Rs 615 against the Rs 220 for general sleeper class. But it was a complete wastage of money, as the AC was doing no cooling at all.”
“I have been on the train for nearly three hours, and the experience is totally harrowing. I’ll have to endure the heat for several more hours till I reach Delhi,” added Jatin, who stepped out of the train at Ludhiana station for fresh air.
Not only the ACs , even engines are failing in this intense heat. There have been reports of failure of engines of Shaheed Express near Phillaur and an Ambala-Amritsar train near Sahnewal within the past three days.
Sources said AC failure had become a perpetual feature of the Indian Railways during summer, as these machines very old and not serviced regularly.
RK Sharma, station superintendent, admitted that he was getting complaints about non-functional ACs from many trains. Seeking an escape, he claimed, “The soaring temperature has caused even domestic ACs to fail. So it was not right to blame the Indian Railways. We try to keep things working well, but sometimes technical glitches happen.”