Friday, 4 May 2012

SCR fails to keep promise

South Central Railway proudly claims, 'Service with commitment, progress and pride' but today's incident has left hundreds of commuters with a feeling exactly opposite to the claims. The much hyped summer special No 07405 Aurangabad-Tirupati train was flagged off here today. But much to the shock of the commuters, the train had 16 coaches instead of 18 coaches, which was announced in the official press release signed by K.Samabsiva Rao, SCR Chief Public Relations Officer. Giving the composition of the train No 07405/06 the press release issued by Charles Herenz Nanded division PRO had clearly stated, that train composition—one coach of 2 tier AC, one of 3 tier AC, 8 coaches of 2nd Sleeper class, 6 General coaches, 2 SLRs — total 18 coaches.
 
The blunder did not stop here, based on this information the reservation counters between Aurangabad and Tirupati sold out tickets to hundreds of commuters willing to commute between the two destinations. Each 2nd sleeper class coach has the capacity to accommodate 72-74 commuters and this blunder by the railways has soured the journey of as many as 150 commuters heading to various destinations.
 
The train was flagged by Marathwada Railway Vikas Samiti president Omprakash Verma in the presence of railway officials and hundreds of commuters this evening.
 
Today when scores of commuters having confirmed tickets for train No 07405 reached the railway station to board the train only to receive a shock of their life that the tickets given to them are of the coach, which does not exist in reality. "We were shocked to learn that we were given the tickets of the coach which did not exist. We bought 6 confirmed tickets from the Aurangabad railway reservation counter and now the coach is missing," said Khalil-ullah Khan, who along with his family was heading to Secunderabad. While one devotee heading to Tirupati with old parents introduced himself as Suresh said, "When I learnt about it, I could not believe as I had purchased tickets from the reservation counter. Now, when I approached the railway officials asking solution to the problem, they are asking us to adjust in other coaches. This is inhuman, as I cannot travel this long to Tirupati with my ailing parents."
 
When contacted, Nanded division senior commercial manager Satyam Babu said, "We accept that it is our mistake but we cannot do anything as the headquarters (Secunderabad) had sent two less coaches. We are trying to do the best in the available sources and conveyed about the problem to the SCR headquarters." Satyam also assured that the two coaches will be added to the train during the halt at Secunderabad but he failed to give any satisfactory reason for the train sans two coaches.
 
When contacted station superintendent Ashok Nikam replied, "We cannot do much, as we had received two coaches. All we could do was to inform the higher authorities and adjust the stranded passengers in to other coaches."
"This incident has added one more sour experience to the long list of step-motherly treatment meted out to Aurangabad by the SCR. Even earlier the SCR had given a sub-standard shuttle train to the region and the new shuttle train meant for us was given to Secunderabad division," stated a railway NGO person on the condition of anonymity.