Railway and Civil authorities review facilities in view of forthcoming Pitrapaksh Mela rush at Gaya

GAYA: The proposal to run special trains between Gaya-Varanasi and Gaya-Patna during the forthcoming Pitrapaksh Mela is yet to be approved by the competent authority.

The proposal came up for discussion at the high-level meet held on August 30 between railway officials and civil authorities. Gaya DM and Mughalsarai Divisional Railway officials, besides other officials participated in the discussions.

Asked about the Pitrapaksh Mela special trains, station director Pavinesh Kattal said a final decision on the proposal is yet to be taken. “It will come in public domain once the proposal is approved. I am not in a position to say whether the proposal would be ultimately approved or not,” Kattal said.

Referring to the ongoing repair of the overbridge at what is called the Howrah-end of Gaya station, Kattal said the job will be over before September 10 and it will be opened for passengers much before the start of Pitrapaksh Mela.

This year, the Pitrapaksh Mela begins on September 23. Way back in 2014, a decision was taken to install escalator at the Gaya railway station. But the much-promised escalator continues to be elusive. A sizeable number of elderly people, both men and women visit Gaya during Pitrapaksha Mela for pindadaan rituals. “Such pilgrims face difficulty in negotiating the somewhat steep stairs and escalator facility was needed at the station,” said DK Jain, president of the Grand Chord Passengers’ Association.

Asked about the progress made in escalator installation, the station director said the plinth for escalator installation has been constructed. “I will have to consult the electrical section for further details. The escalator is unlikely to be ready before the commencement of Pitrapaksha Mela,” Kattal said.

Gaya region has become vulnerable to terror attacks and two such attacks have already taken place in Bodh Gaya during the last five years. For security reasons, recommendation was made to install state of- the- art luggage scanner at the station. Asked about the luggage scanner installation, the station director said he will have to go through the file.

Conceding that the condition of roads around the station was not good, the station director said repair job will be shortly undertaken. “These roads along with the roads leading to the Inspector Colony are maintained by the railways. A separate slot has been earmarked for parking of auto rickshaws,” Kattal said.