Ratlam: A senior railway official of SAG cadre from Ratlam Division of Western Railway caused a stir when he arrived at Indore for inspection—riding a bicycle.
Indore officials were caught by surprise because they came to know about Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM), R K Gupta’s arrival only some time before he reached the station, despite the 52-year-old taking 10 hours to travel 140 km.
“There was an incident involving roll back of coaches at Laxmibai Nagar station (near Indore) on Friday evening. Although it was a minor incident, we take such incidents seriously as there is a potential for major mishap. So, I decided to inspect the station,” Gupta said.
He left Ratlam at about 6.30 am on Saturday and reached Indore station at 4.45 pm. “It was quite windy and I took five to six breaks of about 10 minutes to rest and rehydrate. I also had to deal with a flat tyre once,” he said.
After conducting the inspection, he directed the Laxmibai Nagar station superintendent to ensure that such incidents are avoided in the future.
However, Indore railway officials were taken aback by his mode of transport in an age when senior officials take the first class AC or a car to conduct inspections.
“It was a very unusual gesture by a senior official. In my 23-year career, I have not heard of any official coming for an inspection riding a bicycle,” an Indore-based railway official said.
Gupta, an amateur cyclist, said he loved outdoor sports and took to cycling about nine months ago.
“At times, it’s not possible to play outdoor sports during rainy season when the ground is wet. So I find cycling an ideal and relaxing exercise,” he said.
This was the second time he has attempted something like this. In October last year, he had cycled on a shorter route between Ratlam and Ujjain and it took him about 6 hours.