UP minister books 15 berths in three trains

Unmindful of travellers problems, he gets reservation

Summers means a mad rush for berths in trains and compartments also overflow with passengers. Reservation counters have a serpentine queue of possible passengers.

Unmindful of the problems of travelers, a UP minister reportedly got as many as 15 berths reserved under his name in AC first and AC second classes in three separate trains for the same date leaving Lucknow from the VIP quota. But it was not known by which train the minister finally traveled.

According to officials of the northern railway here, the minister for urban development and senior Samajwadi Party leader, Azam Khan got the berths reserved using HOR (high official requisition), also called the VIP quota, in his capacity as a minister as well as in his capacity as a former member of the Rajya Sabha.

The reservations were in three trains-Howrah Amritsar Mail, Kashi Vishwanath Express and Doon Express from Lucknow to his home town of Rampur for Friday last.
According to railway officials, it was against the law to use both the statues for reservation of berths.

While the officials said those using the VIP quota must take precautions to not cause any inconvenience to the other genuine travelers and VIPs, the minister’s staff maintained that there was nothing unusual about the same.

They said that owing to their pre-occupation, it was not often possible to make a definite travel plan and hence seats were reserved in different trains leaving at different times.

Thousands of ordinary passengers, however, have to return empty handed from reservation counters and cancel their trips every day owing to the non-availability of berths in the trains during the peak summer days.

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