Travellers’ fracas delays express train

Crowded sleeper coach led to arguments

Chennai: Nearly 600 passengers with unreserved tickets were asked to vacate the sleeper compartments of the Coromandel Express on Sunday after an altercation between passengers delayed the train by over an hour at the Chennai Central station.

The incident happened at 8:30 am when the Howrah bound express train was stopped just as it was pulling out of platform five. A few passengers with confirmed tickets pulled the emergency chain three minutes into the journey after a tussle with passengers who entered the train with unconfirmed tickets.

“The train was forced to stop as a large number of people entered the sleeper coach at the last moment, getting into an argument with the passengers who were mostly heading for their hometowns to celebrate Diwali,” said constable T. Arun Kumar, a Railway Protection Force (RPF) official at the spot when the incident took place.

The passengers who boarded S3 and S4 compartments were moved out and the express train was delayed for nearly two hours before it left the central station. Railway officials blame it on festival rush.

“Keeping in view the rush, more special trains could have been allocated at regular intervals to accommodate passengers rather than allocate a group of trains at uneven intervals,” said an IRCTC official.

“There was not an inch of space in the unreserved compartment due to which me and my friends had to enter the sleeper coach,” said Pawan Kumar, a hotel employee who had to detrain even after obtaining an ‘Extra Fare Ticket’ to Howrah for which he paid Rs 1,600.

Around 250 passengers who had unconfirmed tickets were later accommodated on a special train that left Central station later.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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