Diwali rush: Long distance trains from Chandigarh fully booked, Shatabdi seats cost 27% more
Not a single seat available on long distance trains till October 25; 400 to 500 seats on Shatabdis go vacant.punjab Updated: Oct 06, 2017 15:58 IST
All long distance trains plying from Chandigarh are fully booked as Diwali is only two weeks away. However, Shatabdi trains are almost running vacant with 400 to 500 seats, depending on the days; but fares between Chandigarh and Delhi have increased by 27%, beginning at Rs 900 for a chair car seat and Rs 1,255 for executive car seat.
Passengers are paying an additional amount ranging between Rs 150 and Rs 200. Normally, the fare for a chair car seat begins at Rs 710 and that for an executive car seat at Rs 1,100.
For Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi (12006) that departs from Chandigarh at 6.45am, tickets were priced at Rs 850 for chair car and Rs 1,215 for executive car on Thursday. Passengers who boarded Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi (12046) that departs at noon spent Rs 870 for chair car seat and Rs 1,255 for executive seat.
Those who travelled by Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi (12012) that departs from Chandigarh at 6.23pm bought tickets at Rs 790, 11% more than the usual fare. Executive ticket cost Rs 1,305.
FLEXI FARE TO BLAME?
Many passengers said the flexi fare system caused the fluctuation due to which they paid more for tickets. Sahiba Kaur said, “This train journey costs almost as much as air fare between Chandigarh and Delhi. I bought a ticket for Rs 1,300 and Rs 600 will go to cabs. It is really expensive.”
For Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi (12006) that departs from Chandigarh at 6.45am, tickets were priced at Rs 850 for chair car and Rs 1,215 for executive car on Thursday.
Another passenger, Silvi Kathuria, said, “I believe it is better to travel by a Volvo bus. Three and a half hours of distance costs too much. Shatabdis have a decent crowd with lower availability of seats, but now we can get a seat at the last moment by paying extra.”
Not a single seat is available in long distance trains till October 25, including 14218 Unchahar Express, 12232 Chandigarh-Lucknow Express (Sadbhavna Express) and 15904 Dibrugarh Express. The waiting lists have 400 to 500 names so far.
Chief reservation officer Randhir Singh said, “The waiting list is heavily populated for long distance trains, but bookings are still on. Passengers are coming with request letters if they can be adjusted in some train.”
To ease the festive rush, special trains have already started, including Chandigarh-Gorakhpur and Chandigarh-Nangal Dam that will continue till the end of October.