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No recourse

Someone had correctly said: Pay a visit to a railway station; you come to know what the real India is. Tridiv Sinha, in his one visit to the Old Delhi Railway Station to receive his cousin was embattled with the books written by IITians, policeman and the law. Read…

By Tridiv Sinha, New Delhi

The last time I checked, people took platform tickets from the counters and went in to receive their guests in a Railway Station. A few days back I went to New Delhi Railway Station to greet my cousin who was coming from Tripura.

Being a responsible citizen, or may be because of the fear of the fine which will be imposed if caught without a platform ticket, I went to the counter to get one. The most irritating part is to stand in the huge queue just to get a ticket, but the counter was closed to my relief. An important noticeable incident was that I went to Old Delhi Railway Station few days before this incident and we went inside without any tickets and got out too. So, I thought Railway Dept. has stopped this rule and I went on to platform 12 waiting for the Guwahati - Rajdhani Express.

As usual, as with all the trains in India, it was delayed. There was no clue as to how much delay I have to encounter, so I went on to a book store and bought a cheap paperback novel by an IIT pass out thinking it will be best choice to kill time without wasting much money. The moment I started the book, I was like “What on the name of pen and paper, one could dare to write such junk books.” It was so awful; I forgot the name of the author and the title as soon as I read it. After the success of one Mr. Bhagat, every IITian thinks himself as a wannabe writer and fills the bookstands with those stupid books. Somebody should go and tell them that their place is in Engineering World, not writing. I lost 100 bucks in the gamble, but learned one great lesson – Never ever buy a book by a young Engineering pass out. I spent another 1 hour without reading a single word, thanks to Rajdhani for not keeping me waiting for long.

So, finally the train came and I met my cousin on the platform. The plan was to take him to my place where he will stay for the day and he will be off to Chandigarh on the next morning. But, due to the distance of my place from the station, we thought of him staying in the Army Rest House (He was a Defense Personnel). He planned to stay in the one near New Delhi Station and so went to exit through the Platform 1 entrance.

There I learned the second lesson of the day. We were stopped by two officials, one young and the other in his early fifties probably. My cousin got a clear pass as he was having the Train Tickets, but I was stopped. They wanted a fine of Rs 350 stating that I was found guilty for entering the station. I knew I was guilty for not carrying Platform Tickets, but I had no options. The Station wasn’t having one counter providing the tickets. They made a statement which shocked me. According to them, Government introduced a new rule by which there would be no Platform Tickets which will lead to the fact that one other than the passengers can enter the Platforms. It was kind of weird to me so I asked for any written circulars which can support their statement. The officials behaved like I was a criminal and threatened to get me arrested by the nearby Policemen when I asked them to show the order or any authorized written rule stating as such.

My cousin, who is older to me, asked me to step down and managed to convince them with 100 bucks as bribe. Now I got how Railway is getting profits under this Government. They impose some weird fines on common people which create huge revenue. If implementing such strange rules makes Railway Progress, can we call it a real progress? People won’t be able to go inside the platforms to receive relatives. What can happen to a small town common man who comes to ND thinking that his relative or friends will take care of him as soon as he gets out of the train? He has to find his way out all by himself. And if Government hasn’t introduced such rules, then why the Tickets Counters for Platform Tickets are kept closed? Just for illegal money?

And we say, “Railways is going through a revolution, generating profit like never before”.


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