Mumbai: Summer Rush Leaves People Struggling For Train Tickets To UP & Bihar

Mumbai: Summer Rush Leaves People Struggling For Train Tickets To UP & Bihar

Every summer, thousands of migrants, who have a sizable presence in Mumbai, have to queue up for days outside reservation counters amid scorching heat just to get a ticket for a comfortable journey.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 10:39 PM IST
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Left To Right Migrants: Rajendra Chaubey, Anita, Rakesh |

Mumbai: Despite the railways running several special trains to handle the summer rush, thousands of people vying to visit their natives in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar continue to struggle for a confirmed train seat.

Every summer, thousands of migrants, who have a sizable presence in Mumbai, have to queue up for days outside reservation counters amid scorching heat just to get a ticket for a comfortable journey. The demand shoots up during summer as schools close, while festivities and marriage ceremonies peak.

In hope of getting tickets, people are often compelled to spend two-three days waiting in a queue, that too, without the guarantee of success. Many return disappointed as the limited number of tickets get quickly sold. Within minutes of seats being put up for sale, available slots get filled, leaving countless travellers stranded.

“The ramifications of this predicament extend beyond mere inconvenience. Family functions and other important engagements are missed and businesses suffer as workers struggle to commute. Moreover, the physical and mental toll of spending hours being queued cannot be overlooked,” lamented Raj Kumar Jaiswal from Bhandup, who is trying to get a ticket for Gorakhpur.

Similar ordeal is being faced by Bhayandar resident Rajendra Chaubey, who has been tirelessly queuing at CSMT with his brother-in-law, Satya Pandey. The latter's marriage ceremony is scheduled on April 22 in Uttar Pradesh. “Despite spending two days in the queue, we have been unable to secure confirmed tickets,” bemoaned Chaubey.

The plight of such commuters shed light on a significant recurring issue of demand for tickets to north India exceeding availability during summer. Factors such as limited seats and the presence of touts further compound the situation, leaving many travellers with no choice, but to look for other ways to reach their destinations.

Some try luck by resorting to online booking, but even that has not been a reliable option. Most of the time seats get booked by the time their turns come.

Despite relentless attempts, Rakesh Gaur, a bhel puri seller from Colaba, has been unable to secure confirmed tickets to Uttar Pradesh for himself, his wife and son. On Wednesday, he had high hopes of getting seats because he managed to get first spot in the queue outside the Churchgate reservation counter. The bookings will open today.

However, luck didn't smile on Anita Prajapati from Kandivali, who couldn't get a ticket despite queueing up outside the Kandivali reservation counter for two days. She has now decided to shift to the Churchgate ticketing facility. “I am forced to queue up till I get confirmed tickets because I don't want to miss my relative's marriage ceremony,” said Prajapati.

Most marriages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are organised during summer. This year, the ceremony dates starting from April 18. Prajapati said that air fares go beyond the reach of the working class due to the rush. She has to go to Varanasi, for which the current air fare ranges from Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 per person.

The unavailability of tickets has forced many to look for alternative modes of transportation, such as buses or private cars, which are often more expensive and less convenient. Kalyan resident Shyam Sundar Jaiswal and his family have decided to travel to Prayagraj by car after being unable to secure confirmed train tickets.

Four of them will brave the inconvenience and cost of a road trip to attend a family function, with the hope of arriving by Friday morning. Asserting that the problem of not getting confirmed tickets during summer needs to be tackled on a “priority basis”, Jaiswal pointed out that not everyone can afford car travel.

A senior official said that the railway administration is doing its best to address the situation. “Both the zonal (Western and Central) railways have already announced several hundred trips of summer specials besides adding extra coaches to regular trains to bring down the waiting list,” he said.

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