Trains remain stationed along platform, vendors hit

AMRITSAR: Vendors eking out their living by selling items of essential need at Amritsar Railway Station’s platform number one have alleged that their sales have declined due to lopsided scheduling of trains.

Trains remain stationed along platform, vendors hit

The Shatabdi at platform number one in Amritsar. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 4

Vendors eking out their living by selling items of essential need at Amritsar Railway Station’s platform number one have alleged that their sales have declined due to lopsided scheduling of trains.

They said the Shatabdi trains remain parked on the platform most of the time which was also leading to inconvenience to passengers, mostly elderly and children. For instance, Swarn Shatabdi remains parked there from 1:30 pm to 5 pm and another Shatabdi remains there from 10:40 pm to 5 am.

During this time span, popular trains like Shan-E-Punjab, Jammu-Bathinda, Bathinda-Jammu, Hirakund Express and Indore Express do not find space on platform number one and are operated from other platforms.

A little over three hours after departure of Shatabdi, Paschim Express Deluxe between Amritsar and Mumbai Central departs at 8:10 in the morning.

A passenger Atul Arora claims that all major facilities are available at platform number one, but most of the trains are unable to depart and arrive from the same as so they are also harassed.

All categories of waiting halls, including those for handicapped, women, general and first class, toilets, medical facility, ample seating arrangement, enquiry window, current ticket booking windows and others are situated there.

A maximum of over 12 vending shops and half-a-dozen trolleys are situated on platform number one. There are two shops each on platform numbers two and three. Besides, platform numbers four and five have one stall each. Vendors said each vend was paying a monthly rent between Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 to the Railways besides footing expenses of employees and high commercial power tariff. Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Rajesh Aggarwal said this arrangement was not intentional but just a part of the process to achieve maximum operational punctuality.

Both the Shatabdis are platform return trains which occupy platform number 1 from 1350 hrs to 1630 hrs and 2300 hrs to 0530 hrs. Besides these trains, 5 to 6 trains are received on platform number one which are as per the schedule of trains. Trains are parked there to ensure safety and avoid shunting constraint in the yard. So the allegation of vendors is false.


Elderly, disabled a harassed lot

A maximum of over 12 vending shops and half-a-dozen trolleys are situated on platform number one. There are two shops each on platform numbers two and three. Besides, platform numbers four and five have one stall each. Vendors said each vend was paying a monthly rent between Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 to the Railways besides footing expenses of employees and high commercial power tariff.

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