The passengers travelling between Chandigarh and Amritsar were stranded for up to four hours after the intercity express broke down due to some technical fault in the engine, near Sahnewal on Saturday.
The train, which departed from Chandigarh at 6.55am, broke down in Ludhiana at 8am. It was to reach Amritsar at 11.25 am.
The incident revealed the unpreparedness of the railway department, as no rescue team was sent to help the hundreds of passengers, who were left stranded in the scorching heat without food and water for hours.
A passenger, Amanjot Kaur, said, “In an emergency situation like this, the railway authorities must have appropriate measures in place. I am travelling with my two-year-old daughter, and are helpless without food and water.”
Another passenger, Sukhwinder Singh said, “The train broke down around 8am and after waiting till 11:30 am, some of the passengers preferred walking. It took us two hours to reach the nearest road in the sweltering weather. On claiming refund, we were simply turned back.”
Singh said, “On the one hand, the railway ministry has increased the fares by 14.2% and on the other hand, they are illequipped to deal with emergency situations. Lack of basic amenities at railway stations and on trains is another major issue.”
When contacted, station superintendent RK Sharma said, “There was a technical fault in the engine due to which the train broke down. A rescue engine was arranged for the broken down train, after which the train left for Amritsar and reached there at 3pm.”