Nagpur: Holding mirror to itself, Central Railway officials realised the difficult time faced by travellers and promptly reversed back the popular Duronto Express to Home Platform at Nagpur Railway Station. A notification was issued by Chief Passenger Transportation Manager (CPTM), Central Railway, Mumbai, on Wednesday about shifting back Duronto Express to Nagpur from Ajni Railway Station from February 20 onwards.
The move would give succor to harassed travellers as most of them did not take liking to division officials decision to shift premium train like Duronto Express to Ajni Station. Many of the travellers coming from distance places had to miss the train owing to traffic snarls in and around Ajni Railway Station that lacks sufficient circulating area.
In fact, cancellation of tickets saw rampant rise in Duronto Express which otherwise runs jam packed on either direction to Mumbai and back to Nagpur. Perhaps stringent criticism forced hand of division officials and they promptly got in touch with officials at Headquarters to revert back the train on popular demand to Nagpur Railway Station. Division officials, inspite of negative feedback from travellers ever since Duronto was shifted to Ajni, were not able to decide on shifting Duronto to Home Platform. Finally after sources took up the matter and reported difficulties faced by travellers at Ajni, the CR official were forced to act and brought back Duronto to Nagpur station.
However, CR officials it seems are still not given up on placing Duronto Express at Ajni despite lack of desired amenities at the suburban station. The notification by CPTM said as work on installing escalator and lift is in progress at Ajni Station and they are causing inconvenience to passengers. Till the ongoing work at Ajni is completed, Duronto Express will continue to operate from ex-Nagpur station. In fact, travellers’ body had expressed reservation about shifting of Duronto Express to Ajni station. Brijbhushan Shukla, Secretary, Rail Yatri Sangh, said they had pointed out to division officials the futility of toying with idea as it would cause inconvenience to travellers. A memorandum was also submitted to division officials and they promised to examine.
However, just like Shivnath, the official sought to push down unpopular decision down the throat of hapless passengers. Shukla said there is no comparison between A-1 category and D category station, that is Nagpur and Ajni.
“Per se we are not opposed to starting new trains from Ajni, but railway should first ensure enough passenger amenities and then only think about shifting trains like Duronto Express”, he opined. Division officials were in correspondence with Headquarters for permanently berthing Duronto Express at Ajni, it is learnt. Knowing well the opposition they might encounter, officials first got excuse when apron work was undertaken at Platform no. 1 of Nagpur Railway Station and on goods line and shifted Duronto Express to Ajni. After completion of work, they extended Duronto run ex-Ajni saying this is being done for a period of three months. The game plan was once travellers adjust to idea of Duronto and Ajni station the premium train would continue to operate from D category station.
To assuage the hurt feelings of travellers, division officials deputed middle ranking officers of Operating and Commercial Branch to take continuous feedback of passenger on board Duronto Express. Even feedback forms were also circulated and travellers gave negative remarks about Ajni station. Inspite of negative feedback from staff, travellers one does not know what held back division officials in deciding to revert their decision?