Despite launch of Jaijon-Doaba-Amritsar DEMU, the first train connecting Khatkar Kalan in Nawanshahr district – the ancestral village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh with Amritsar — last Thursday with much fanfare, most passengers are not able to board it from Nawanshahr railway station.
Reason, there is mostly no one present at the ticket counter to sell them tickets for the early morning train. Many though board this train without buying the tickets, leading the local railway staff even to speculate that it may not even see the light of the day after the trial period of four months.
Divisional Railway Manager of Ferozepur Division, Northern Railway, Vivek Kumar, said that he had received such complaints from Nawanshahr. “We are going to take strict action against the erring staff.”
Sources at Nawanshahr railway station said that two staff members, including a woman, who are on duty at the ticket counter, remained missing from their chairs most of the time.
“The train arrives at 5.50 am at Nawanshahr. Because of a sizable number of passengers, long queues are formed at the ticket counter, but due to the missing staff, people can not board it as the train comes and goes,” said a staff member at the Nawanshahr railway station, adding that if it continues and the train runs into losses, then its journey to Amritsar would be stopped after four month.
Hazara Singh, a passenger, said he reached at 5.00 in the morning to board the train and remained standing in the queue till it arrived at the station. “No one turned up at the ticket counter and finally we went to bus stand, while several boarded the train without ticket,” said Singh.
A video of the ticket counter, made by a passenger, showing time and date is doing rounds of the social media. It shows people waiting outside the ticket counter, when no one came, they left the window.
In another video, a staff member reached the ticket counter at 6.30 am – way past the departure of the train – while his duty starts at 5.00 am. And after reaching there, he got indulged in an argument with people, shows
In the morning, two more trains pass from here and people either board them without ticket or go by bus,” said another passenger.
The train was launched on the long-pending demand of the people of Nawanshahr district on Thursday.