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No AC,no water,so people stop train

Minutes after the Pune-Indore Express left Indore station at 3.20 pm on Monday,AC three-tier passengers found themselves soaked in sweat.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
April 29, 2009 1:58:02 am

Minutes after the Pune-Indore Express left Indore station at 3.20 pm on Monday,AC three-tier passengers found themselves soaked in sweat. The AC was not working. Not only that,there was no water in the toilet.

For the next one-and-a-half-hour,the passengers went through a harrowing journey,with temperature hovering around 42 degree Celsius.

They complained to the TTE and railway officials at stations,but to no avail.

Around 5.30 pm,the train reached Ratlam and agitated passengers refused to let the train proceed further. Many of them let out angry words against the railway officials. The moment the driver signalled for starting the journey,the passengers pulled the chain to the train to a halt.

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Rajesh Rathod,a resident of Ratlam,who had come to see off his relatives,said,“Passengers of the AC coach were upset. They said they wouldn’t let the train proceed till water was provided and the AC was set right.” Most of the passengers,said Rathod,sought a refund of their amount they paid for AC travel,and they were promptly promised a refund.

Right from Indore,passengers complained to officials at Ujjain. “When things did not improve,they again lodged a complaint at Devas station and thereafter at the next station,Nagda. Many passengers were shouting that they had bought the ticket through Tatkal by paying thrice the amount,but were not getting even the basic facility,” said a passenger.

Confirming the incident,Yogesh Kaushik of the commercial control section at Ratlam said the electricity section officials tried to repair the AC,but did not succeed. “That is why passengers were promised a refund. The AC tickets were converted into non-AC and the train was allowed to proceed. We are awaiting further details.”

Pradeep Sharma,spokesperson,Western Railway (Indore),said,“The water shortage in the AC coach was sorted out at Ratlam. But since the AC could not be repaired,the tickets were certified as non-AC by the TTE. The passengers were told get refunds at their respective destinations.” There were 46 passengers in the AC coach.

Sharma said,“It doesn’t happen often. But the matter is being investigated,” he added. The train was delayed by over an hour.

The train arrived in Pune around 8 am on Tuesday. It was taken to the railway yard to get it ready for Friday’s journey to Indore. In the afternoon,Pune station official Y K Singh said the electricity department and the mechanical department will look into the problems with the AC coach. “When the train left for Indore on Tuesday afternoon from Pune,the AC was functioning properly,” Singh said. The train runs twice a week between Pune and Indore.

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