Rail users of Magadh region continue to suffer – allege passenger associations

Gaya: A large number of rail users of the five districts of Magadh region including Gaya and Aurangabad suffer as the demands repeatedly made by Gaya MP Hari Manjhi have fallen on deaf years and apart from formal acknowledgement of the MP’s letters and ‘looking into the matter’ kind of responses, railway minister Suresh Prabhu has done little to meet any of the half-a-dozen demands of Gaya MP.

On his part, the MP has written several letters to both Prabhu and his immediate predecessor Sadanand Gowda listing the problems of the rail users of the area. The last of the series of such letters was written by him on February 28, 2015.

According to DK Jain, president of the Grand Chord Passengers’ Association, some of the MP’s demand are very simple and non-fulfilment of such demands does not do any credit to the railway ministry. Prabhu’s arrival in the railway ministry had raised hopes among the grand chord rail users but the hope is now giving way to disappointment, said Jain.

Rake of the double-decker train remains idle for several hours in Dhanbad and on account of availability of several options and numerous trains running between Dhanbad and Howrah, the occupancy rate of the double decker train has been very low, generally hovering around 30 % causing heavy revenue loss to the railways. The demand for the extension of the double-decker train up to Gaya has been raised from different forums and in view of the rake remaining virtually abandoned in Dhanbad for long hours, it can easily be extended up to Gaya for optimum capacity utilisation and higher revenue. Jain said once the double decker train is extended up to Gaya, the occupancy rate will go up from 30% to 100%.

The other demands made by Hari Manjhi through letters addressed to the railway minister is the introduction of a direct train between Gaya and Delhi soon after the departure of Rajdhani Express with vey limited stoppages only at most important stations only. In his letters, Manjhi has regretted that whereas places like Bhagalpur have two direct trains for Delhi, Mahabodhi Express, the lone direct train runing between Gaya and Delhi remains the most neglected train and under Allahabad division, Mahabodhi Express is sidelined to facilitate the passage of goods train causing perennial late running of the train. These issues were raised on Wednesday when BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi was in Gaya to list Narendra Modi government’s achievements.