In a heart-wrenching incident, Madhu Shankar was unable to visit her ailing father in New Delhi due to the unavailability of confirmed train tickets. Despite her best efforts, Madhu has been unable to secure tickets to New Delhi, leaving her father alone and without the comfort of his daughter's presence at a time when he needs her the most.
Madhu, who resides in Navi Mumbai with her husband and two minor kids, has been facing the perennial problem of not getting confirmed tickets of long-distance trains due to summer rush. In a desperate attempt to visit her father, who is suffering from age-related problems, the woman reached out to the Ministry of Railways for assistance. However, she is still awaiting a response from the authorities.
Activists wants Railway authorities to take 'swift action'
“Madhu's story is a poignant reminder for the authorities to take swift action to address the challenges faced by the common people,” said a railway activist, adding that she is not the only one who is struggling for a train ticket. During the ongoing summer rush season, getting a confirmed ticket for long-distance trains has become a major challenge. The situation has left many people frustrated and forced them to look for alternative modes of transportation.
Passengers stuck for hours at ticket counter
Many passengers have reported spending hours at the ticket counter, only to be told that all the tickets were sold out. Others have resorted to online booking, but even that has not been a reliable option as most of the times seats get booked by the time their turns come.
Ram Naresh Verma, a 56-year-old taxi driver from Ghatkopar, is also struggling to secure confirmed train tickets to attend his niece's wedding in Gorakhpur. Despite trying for the last two days, Verma has been unable to book confirmed tickets for himself, his wife, and his 21-year-old son. “I have been trying relentlessly to book confirmed tickets, but it seems impossible. I don't know what to do now,” he said.
Ticket unavailability on long-distance trains
The issue of unavailability of tickets of long-distance trains during peak travel season has forced many to look for alternative modes of transportation, such as buses or private cars, which are often more expensive and less convenient.
Borivali resident Rajendra Singh, 45, and his family have decided to travel to Varanasi by car after being unable to secure confirmed train tickets. The family of four will brave the inconvenience and cost of a road trip to attend a family function, with the hope of arriving by Wednesday morning. Asserting that the problem of not getting confirmed tickets during summer needs to be tackled on a “priority basis”, Singh pointed out that not everyone can afford to travel by car.
Railways adding Summer special trains
When approached for comment, railway officials stated that they are doing their best to address the situation. “Both the zonal (Western and Central) railways have already announced over 3,000 trips of summer special trains besides adding extra coaches to regular trains to bring down the waiting list,” said a senior official.
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