Nagaland Express passengers protest at Guwahati Rly Station

Nagaland Express passengers protest at  Guwahati Rly Station

Dimapur, August 5: The people of Nagaland have finally realized the hardships faced by the passengers of Nagaland Express, which travels from Dimapur to Guwahati and vice versa and staged a protest in the office of the Station Superintendent at Guwahati Railway Station Saturday night.
When the 15669 UP Guwahati-Dimapur Nagaland Express, scheduled to depart at 11.35 p.m. Saturday arrived, the Dimapur-bound passengers found that the 2Tier AC coach was missing and the passengers were supposed to be adjusted in 3 Tier AC, but no message about the refund was announced for the passengers. The sudden change of their coaches without prior information enraged the passengers, who stormed the office of the Station Master and demanded the reasons behind such discrimination made with the passengers of the particular train.
According to regular passengers, people travelling by Nagaland Express and BG Express are facing problems for many months.
While the Railway Authorities expressed their inability to provide them the 2 Tier AC coach due to unavailability of same at present, they informed that the regular coaches which were attached with the trains were damaged beyond repair.
Passengers while demanding the authorities to provide an AC coach immediately, even threatened to sue the Railways for causing mental harassment to hundreds of passengers.
They argued if 2AC coaches were not available, why the Railways were issuing tickets for the same.
The station master at Guwahati railway station on Saturday was virtually made to give it in writing that the railways has not been able to deliver it to the passengers from Nagaland.
It may be mentioned that both the trains-BG Express and Nagaland Express were started between Dimapur and Guwahati and vice versa particularly in view of large number of passengers from Dimapur, who frequently travel to Guwahati. However, the services of these trains became questionable when the Railways begun to put into service such coaches which are supposed to be condemned and replaced. However, both trains shuttle between Dimapur and Guwahati with very old coaches daily.
On Saturday night, after the ruckus at Guwahati Railway Station, the train left for Dimapur only at 1.25 a.m., which was 2 hours late from the scheduled departure. The same train returned to Guwahati Sunday morning from Dimapur at 10 a.m. instead of 6 a.m., the actual departure time.
Passengers who came to Dimapur today by Nagaland Express stated that they have been experiencing the same problem for past many months. One of them said that people book tickets well in advance due to rush of passengers but when they come on the scheduled date and time, they are disappointed to see that their booked coach is missing. And they are not even refunded the difference in fare.
A ticket for 2AC costs Rs 750 for Guwahati-Dimapur while it cost Rs 495 for 3 AC for the same distance. The difference in the fare is Rs 205, which is never refunded.
Some of the passengers last night even said that they would take up the matter with the Chief Minister of Nagaland. However, another Dimapur bound passenger quipped, “Do Chief Minister or other ministers travel by this train that they will know the problems of the passengers?”
Apart from the current problem faced by the passengers, the Railways have also failed to provide quality service to the passengers travelling in both the trains.
While both the trains are overcrowded in both General and Sleeper Coach on both the routes, the condition of the washrooms are horrible, especially when it departs from Dimapur Railway Station. People have to bear the stink while travelling in Nagaland Express in the morning to Guwahati as the washrooms are never cleaned in Dimapur or any other station en-route to Guwahati. It is a similar situation in BG Express when it departs from Dimapur.
“We are fed up of the two trains’ frequent delay in arrival and departure. Also, the bed rolls, which passengers are provided with in AC coaches, are not usable as they are very dirty. Are we being cheated and treated shabbily because we are Nagas?” a passenger asked.
Appeals made by the public on several occasion have gone into the deaf ears of the Railway authorities, even as the Department continues to earn the second highest revenue from Dimapur Railway Station. (Page News Service)