Farmers’ protest: man unable to perform his father’s last rites due to disrupted train schedules
With railway schedules remaining disrupted for the past three days amid protests by farmers against the Jalandhar railway lines, many commuters have faced a multitude of hardships with at least 50 trains canceled, 20 diverted and 10 short interrupted.
The cancellations had perhaps the most heartbreaking consequences for Dalbir Singh, a resident of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh, whose reservations were canceled three times, due to which he could neither be there with his sick father when he breathed his last nor be able to perform his last rites.
Dalbir, who works in a catering store in Jammu and Kashmir, immediately boarded a road bus with his relatives after learning his father was seriously ill. However, they were stuck in a massive traffic jam amid protests by farmers on a highway near Jalandhar.
They managed to reach Ludhiana station, hoping to board a train, but have been stranded there since Friday. “My father passed away waiting for me. I have been running from pillar to post for the past three days, but to no avail. Our reservations have been canceled three times and we cannot afford to board a private bus due to the high fares, ”he said.
When he approached the railway staff, Dalbir alleged that he was brutally pushed back.
Dalbir is not alone. Dheeraj, a resident of Nirwana, Rajasthan, came to Ludhiana for Raksha Bandhan, said: “I had booked a special Kota train which was to leave at 5:50 am on August 23, but it was canceled. I came to the station to get my money back. I am considering taking an alternative means of transportation.
Vinay from Bhawani Mandi, Rajasthan, was also in the same boat as his train, the Jamnagar special scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. has been canceled. “I have to report to work on Monday, but I’m stuck. I may have to take another mode of travel, ”explains Vinay.
Mainly, trains traveling to Amritsar and Katra were affected. In addition to the cancellation and diversion of routes, a few trains were also delayed by several hours, including the Paschim Express which runs on the Amritsar-New Delhi route.
Shiv Salwan, a resident of Ludhiana, said he had to reschedule his appointment in Delhi because Paschim Express, which was due to reach Ludhiana station at 10:20 a.m., arrived at 1:25 p.m. Among the canceled trains are the Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi, the Vande Bharat Express which connects New Delhi to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, the Haridwar-Amritsar Jan Shatabdi special train and Amritsar-Hazur Sahib Nanded.
The routes of 10 trains, which were scheduled to run on Monday, were rerouted and around 25 trains were halted and left short.
In particular, until the filing of this report, the railway had issued a refund of ??1.2 lakh to passengers. A senior railway official said the refund was made on site at the three train counters.
Disgruntled passengers take to Twitter
Disgruntled passengers whose trains were canceled or stopped bombarded the Firozpur division of the Northern Railways with questions and complaints.
A Twitter user, Bhism Narayan Sharma, mentioned his Passenger Name Record Number (PNR) and raised the issue of the lack of catering services on his train, which had been diverted to an alternate route.
“I don’t know where we are going, there is no catering on board, nor the train at any station. I know when we’ll reach our destination and when we’ll have food, ”his tweet read.
Northern Railways responded to the request saying that the matter had been referred to the director of railways of the Ferozepur division. Many others also tweeted their requests.