Central Railway (CR) finally green signal to restoring passenger trains that would provide huge relief to daily travellers.
The decision to resume passenger services will give relief to poor and middle class people, who are dependent for their small business on inter-city or districts trains.
As per information, Central Railway’s Nagpur Division has decided to restart Nagpur-Amla-Nagpur, Nagpur-Amla-Itarsi-Nagpur, Nagpur-Wardha-Nagpur, Wardha-Badnera-Wardha, Wardha-Ballarshah-Wardha and Amla. Chhindwara-Amla inter-districts train services.
The Operations Department is likely to start the passenger trains from October and referred to sanction received from Chief Commercial Manager (Passenger
Marketing), Central Railway. As permission in Railways is centralised, everything needs clearance from highest level, the Railway Board, and this is the reason for delay in normalisation of passenger train services. At South
East Central Railway (SECR) though they were ahead of CR in restarting the services, right
now operations are limited in nature.
During the deceleration of national lockdown in last week of March 2020 these trains services stopped plying. While the long distance Mail/Express trains were restarted from September 2020, operations of passenger trains remained in limbo that put financial burden on regular travellers, be it those working in Government offices but staying in city or vice-versa and also in private sector. The decision hit hard the daily travellers, especially office goers whose travel plans went awry. Since they had to attend offices daily, they had to look for alternate plans, like buses. Many of them opted for private vehicles for better convenience.
The inordinate delay on part of railway administration for reasons best known to them proved very costly for the citizens. With prices of petrol and diesel skyrocketing the daily office goers had to shell out extra money to undertake daily journey.
Similarly, the petty shopkeepers dependent on Nagpur’s wholesale market also felt left out owing to non availability of the inter-district services within Central India.
The other alternative that of travelling in Mail/Express trains was too costly affairs and on top of that Railways is running these as specials for which extra charges are levied making the fare one of the highest.
Therefore, the decision of Central Railway to restart the passenger train service is quite welcome.
Still many other routes of passenger services that were hugely convenient and popular are awaiting announcement of commencement of suspended trains.
For example Nagpur-Bhusaval that was first train in morning from Nagpur Railway Station provided much needed connectivity with small towns and places and those required to reach in first hour at offices were its regular patrons. Also there was one service that connects East andWestVidarbha, Nagpur-Amravati Inter-city whose absence is being felt by the people who frequently travelled between these two
The train used to start from Ajni and also terminate and this fast passenger is badly needed to restore normalcy now that all sectors of economy are open.
Another train is Nagpur-Wardha that was also convenient for students now that many important education institutions have come-up at Wardha. There is no word as yet from the Central
Railway about restoration of these services leaving travellers high and dry.
Basant Shukla, Secretary, BharatiyaYatri Kendra, said that now that Central Railway, and South East Central Railway
(SECR) are starting passenger services then the special tag of Mail/Express train too should be dropped.
Nearly 95 per cent long distance train services are back on track and yet Railways in name of special tag is charging 30 to 40 per cent extra without providing anything extra to travellers that is abuse of monopoly power. This is nothing less than daylight robbery right under the nose of Government and such
practices needed to be stopped right away.