Panic shifts to Yeshwantpur station

Panic shifts to Yeshwantpur station

  Tension prevailed at the Yeshwantpur railway station on Saturday evening for a few hours as panic-stricken passengers bound for the North East thronged train number 12864 (Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express) as there was no direct train to Guwahati on Saturday.

The South Western Railway (SWR) officials said since there weren’t enough passengers, they did not arrange a special train to Guwahati as has been done in the past few days.
“At 6 pm on Friday, there were only 240 tickets sold for Guwahati. We needed at least 2,000 passengers to arrange a special train. There were only around 300 passengers from the North Eastern community waiting at the City railway station and they were advised to take the Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express leaving Yeshwantpur at 7.35 pm and from there, other trains to Guwahati,” said a senior official from the SWR.

Train number 12510 (Guwahati-Yeshwantpur-Guwahati Express), the only direct train to Assam runs thrice a week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. With no direct train available till next Wednesday (August 22), passengers at the City railway station began to panic, when SWR announced late afternoon that there was no special train on Saturday.

Around 300 passengers staged a protest in front of the City railway station at around 4 pm demanding a special train. However, the authorities refused to oblige.
The authorities ensured free journey for the North East-bound passengers in two trains heading to Yeshwantpur from the City railway station so that they can catch the Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express.

Two such trains took around 300 passengers at 6 pm and 6.40 pm to Yeshwantpur. By evening, the number of passengers wishing to board the Howrah Express touched 800 and SWR added one more coach to the train, which usually has 23 coaches.

Muniyappa’s appeal

Union Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa on Saturday appealed to students and migrants from the North- East to stay back.

Speaking to reporters, Muniyappa promised that the Railways would run special trains for people returning from Guwahati. The minister inaugurated a HOPCOMS retail outlet at Bangalore City Railway Station between platforms 7 and 8.

Later, he interacted with some people from the North East and said: “Assam is an integral part of India and its people have every right to live anywhere in the country.”
Muniyappa announced a Rs 2-lakh award for Bangalore Division and Rs 1-lakh award for SWR zone for making arrangements for people of Assam to travel home.

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