Most of the passengers, who had come to board trains at Patna Junction and Danapur station, appeared to be in an upbeat mood even before the presentation of the railway budget for 2011-12. They remained glued to TV sets on railway platforms to watch the presentation of budget by railway minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday.
These passengers were greatly relieved that there was no proposal to hike passenger fare this time as well. Instead, the budget proposed to reduce the e-ticketing charge from Rs 20 to Rs 10 in AC class and Rs 10 to Rs 5 in sleeper class per ticket. They, however, expressed disappointment that the budget did not mention introduction of a new Duronto train between the crowded Patna-Delhi or Patna-Mumbai routes to fulfil the needs of passengers. The railway minister instead announced a new Duronto between Shalimar (Kolkata) and Patna which would hardly give any relief to the passengers, they said.
Prof U K Singh, Amit, Sita Ram Singh and A N Sinha praised the budget describing it as safety-oriented and progressive. They, however, maintained that Patna still needed superfast trains like Duronto linking it directly to Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai and Jaipur. According to these passengers, Banerjee must ensure availability of pantry cars in each mail and express train so that passengers get fresh and quality food on running trains during journey. Frequency of the Patna-Ajmer Ziyarat Express, Patna-Jammu Archana Express and many other long-distance trains should have been increased to cope with rush of passengers, they said.
A senior official of Danapur railway division, however, welcomed the announcement of the railway minister to set up a mechanized laundry plant at Danapur.
Senior citizens appreciated the railway minister’s move to reduce senior citizen’s age from 60 years to 58 years to avail concession facility from 30 to 40% now. A housewife, Abha Johari, demanded that Banerjee must provide adequate security to women passengers travelling in long-distance trains.
South Indians living in Patna were disappointed that the railway minister did not provide a direct connectivity between Patna and Kanyakumari via Thiruvananthapuram. This has been their long-standing demand
Source: The Times of India