Ludhiana passengers fume as railway cancellations put a crimp in Rakhi celebrations
Despite the mercury dropping a couple of notches in Ludhiana city, the temperature at the Ludhiana railway station on Saturday remained sizzling with around 40 trains cancelled in the wake of the ongoing farmers’ protest at Jalandhar railway lines.
The timing of the protest, a day before Raksha Bandhan, added to the commuters’ discontent as most of them were headed home to be with their families and celebrate the festival.Trains running towards Amritsar and Katra were primarily affected.
The trains that were cancelled include Vande Bharat, which plies from New Delhi to Katra; Shane-e-Punjab, which plies from New Delhi to Amritsar; Amritsar-New Delhi evening Shatabdi; Paschim Express which plies on the Mumbai-Amritsar route; Jan Shatabdi Express, which runs from Amritsar to Haridwar; Malwa Express which plies from Katra to Indore; Shri Shakti Express, which runs on the Katra-Delhi Route.
10 trains short terminated
Meanwhile, around 10 trains were short terminated, including the morning Shatabdi. Apart from this, the routes of around 20 trains, including the Amritsar-Howrah special train and Amritsar-Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) Express special train, which was to run on Sunday have been diverted by the northern railways, officials said, adding that these were temporary diversions.
The Ludhiana railway station, which is usually among the busiest railway stations in Punjab, was mostly deserted. However, a few people could be seen running from pillar to post to enquire after the status of their trains.
One such disgruntled passenger, Manvendra, who had reached the station with his wife and child to board the Malwa Express, said, “I work at a food joint here in Ludhiana. We were planning to visit our home in Jhansi on occasion of Rakhi, but my train has been cancelled. My sister and parents were also excited as we were going to meet after a long time, but it was not to be.”
₹2 lakh refund issued
Similarly, Rohit Kumar, who had booking a berth in the Amritsar-Jaynagar Saryu Yamuna special train for Banaras, looked dejected. “I booked my train well in time as I had to visit my sister for Rakhi. After reaching the station, I got to know that the train had been cancelled. I do not have enough money to immediately choose an alternative mode of travel,’ he rued.
Notably, till the filing of this report, the railway had issued a refund amounting to ₹2 lakh to passengers, which will take around 72 hours to be processed.
Meanwhile, Tarvinder Singh of Vadodra, Gujrat, said that he had come to Ludhiana for a meeting and had to return on Friday but had to prolong his stay.
Station director Tarun Kumar said authorities were arranging seats for passengers in alternative trains the best they could in the circumstances.