Mangaluru: In a month, I make one or two visits to Mangalore Central Railway Station to purchase train tickets- and it has been a nightmare every time you go there. Even though there are seven ticket issuing counters, no matter what day or what time you go there, only two counters will be open to serve the customers-Even if a humble request is made to the concerned railway authorities to open one or two more counters , they don’t even care and come up with silly excuses-like shortage of staff, staff are on leave, etc etc. On some days, the queue reaches out of the door into the parking lot. Why to have seven counters, when only two are put into use every time?
The city of Mangaluru may take pride in the fact that it is going to be a Smart City, and also that the railway station will be transformed into a World Class Railway station, but simple problems/issues are always neglected, one being causing inconveniences to customers while buying train tickets. Ironically woes of rail commuters never seems to end. Getting train reservations at Mangaluru central railway reservation counters has become a Herculean task due to the shortage of staff and reservation counters. And nothing has been done to fix this problem.
The condition of passengers at the reservation office is pitiable. Though there are seven counters, only two are operational. Seems like there are only three to four staffers besides a supervisor who work in shifts round the clock. This results in long queues and frayed tempers but there is no hope for the harassed people of the city as the railway authorities seem to be in no hurry to improve the situation. Citizens are fed up of complaining to the authorities.
A quick perusal of the complaint register reveals that several people had requested for opening three or more reservation counters considering that the number of passengers booking their tickets from Mangaluru railway station is growing by the day. Some others have also questioned the quality of service at the reservation and inquiry centre. 72 year-old Ramesh Kutty speaking to mangalorean.com said, ” Making a senior stay in the queue for long hours is not a customer friendly service by the railway department. I go through this situation every time I come here to book train tickets. Even my complaints to the concerned supervisor have not been fruitful. They only want money from us, but no courteous service”.
Sushma, a mother with two kids in the queue speaking to Mangalorean.com said, ” I have been in the queue for the last 45 minutes, and the service has been so slow, to issue a ticket to a customer takes about 10 minutes. There are 15 people in front of me in this queue, just imagine how long I have to stay in the queue with my two kids. Only two counters to serve so many customers at the moment, that’s ridiculous. Thanks for your concern on this issue-hope your report in your website will bring some changes soon at this ticket reservation counter”. I hope so!