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In festive season, Dimapur train travellers face perennial ticket drought

In festive season, Dimapur train travellers face perennial ticket drought
A recent photo of Dimapur railway station during rush hour. (NP)

With festive season and holidays on, rush for train tickets at Dimapur railway station is almost doubling but there appears to be no relief as several hundreds are forced to take their chances with Ticket Examiners (TEs) in order to be travel by standing.

Passengers travelling by trains to and from Dimapur are not as much awed by the renovations and additions of the station building and platform as much as they are with being able to buy tickets.

Despite huge demand for seats at Dimapur, passengers from Dimapur are left with a severely limited seats. Online ticketing continues to be a diversion in the sense that it makes travellers think they will get tickets at the press of a button. However, online booking have not eased the constraint.

Even attempts to buy online train tickets will also reveal that most are already booked.

Passengers mainly board the following four daily trains: Rajdhani Express (Dimapur to New Delhi), Avadh Assam Express, and the two trains originating at Dimapur and halting at Guwahati- Nagaland Express and BG Express.

1 AC 2AC 3AC Sleeper

Rajdhani Express 4 50 127 NA

Nagaland Express NA 32 40 196

BG Express NA 28 20 165

Avadh Assam Express (Number varies)

The quota (clubbed with neighbouring stations) for the four daily trains are shown in the table below. The quota varies depending on the demand. Compared with the demand for tickets, the quota below falls too far below demands.

Apart from the four daily trains, the other important trains are Jan Shatabi Express (Guwahati to Jorhat) runs every day except Sundays and the Shatabdi Express (Guwahati to Dibrugarh) that runs thrice a week- Monday, Wednesday and Friday (for trains originating from Dibrugarh).

Jan Shatabdi has 25 AC chair seats and 197 general seats allotted for passengers from Dimapur (clubbed with neighbouring stations) while 156 AC chair seats allotted in Shatabdi Express.

Even if as little as one thousand people travel by trains from Dimapur, although the figure is much more, the above quotas reveal how the NFR has been giving raw deal. In other parts of the country, additional trains are placed without much fuss while for Dimapur, it appears the Railway feels there is no festive season.

The rush during festive season as well as winter holiday months exposes the unresponsive attitude of the NFR against Dimapur. With only two trains originating at Dimapur and Guwahati out of nearly forty trains running between Tinsukia to Guwahati; the state government must also be blamed for not doing enough.

The other aspect that has contributed to stagnation of growth of Dimapur railway station is encroachment on railway lands upon which pattas were issued by state authorities. Thus, when the issue crops up, the state authorities have done precious little.

Unless there is land there cannot be development and only giving face lift to the railway station cannot bring relief to thousands of travelling passengers who was more seats and which means more trains.

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