When passengers got a free train ride from Mohali to Ferozepur
Railway official present on train allows frenzied travellers to board it without ticket as the counter was closed
It was just another day for 50-odd passengers who had queued up in front of the counter at Mohali railway station, waiting to buy a ticket to train number 14629, Satluj Express, bound for Ferozepur Cantonment.
The train that runs daily originates from Chandigarh railway station, and reaches Mohali by 4.32am.
But on Wednesday, the ticket window never opened for business.
Fearing they might miss the train, the frenzied passengers found a railway official aboard the train, who reportedly gave them the green signal to ride without tickets.
One of the passengers, Rohit Sidhu, who had stood in the queue, said, “We waited for more than 20 minutes, but the ticket counter did not open. When the train arrived, the passengers started panicking. Later, one of the railway officials on the train told us to board the train without a ticket. So we did.”
Though an ‘official’ free ride may be a cause for celebration for some, Sidhu said events like these cause a lot of inconvenience to passengers. “Till the last moment, we didn’t know why the window hadn’t opened. Only when we enquired from the station superintendent, did we come to know that the booking clerk had suddenly taken ill.”
A senior railway official posted at the Mohali railway station, pleading anonymity, said, “I got to know about the matter at 4.17am and the train departs at 4.34am. It was difficult for me to arrange a new staff then. The other booking clerk is a woman who lives far from the station, and could not have come at such short notice. But we tried to book tickets online for as many people as we could.”
For the trains that followed the Satluj Express, necessary arrangements were made and staff was made available, he added.
The divisional railway manager, GM Singh, said that he will look into the matter.