Even though two months are left for Ganesh festival, the Railways have witnessed a huge rush in ticket bookings, especially along the Konkan route. This comes a day after the Central Railway (CR) announced 72 special trains to be operated for the festive season in September. The bookings will start from July 8.
“In order to cater to the rush, we have introduced 72 Ganpati special trains. The bookings will start on September 8,” said a CR official. These trains will run from CSMT-Panvel till Sawantwadi and Ratnagiri. As on July 6, the IRCTC website is not allowing booking of these special trains.
The CSMT-Sawantwadi daily special will run 36 trips that will start from September 5, while the CSMT-Ratnagiri bi-weekly special will run 10 trips. The Panvel-Sawantwadi tri-weekly special will operate 16 trips and Panvel-Ratnagiri bi-weekly special will run 10 trips.
The ticket bookings for Konkan from September 6 to 9 have recorded good sales so far. For instance, on September 6, trains like 01151 Madgaon Jan Shatabdi and 01003 Dadar-Sawantwadi trains have a waitlist of 272. While 01003 has a waitlist of 300.
However, tickets for September 8 on Mumbai-Kudal express, 01151 Mao Jan Shatabdi and 06345 LTT-TVC Special is either sold out or has a waitlist.
Meanwhile, passenger associations’ are demanding trains to Konkan during the festival from Palghar district. A letter has been written by Vasai Sawantwadi Railway Pravasi Sanghatana stating that there are 15 lakh-odd people residing in Vasai, Virar, Boisar, Palghar and Dahanu who go to Konkan each year. The members of this passenger association claim that the railways could provide trains to Konkan via Western and Konkan Railways after following social distancing norms.