Railways deny BJP leader Chawla’s allegations
New Delhi: The Railways on Thursday denied the allegations by former Punjab Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Laxmi Kanta Chawla that the government was not bothered about the plight of train passengers.
In a video that had gone viral, Chawla was seen on-board a train, appealing to the Modi government to “have mercy on the common man”. She had alleged that the “TTE had taken some money in an unauthorized manner and also the train was running very late”.
Rejecting the allegations, the Railways said the train was running on time and the travelling ticket examiner (TTE) was performing his duty.
“The TTE travelling on that particular train and assigned coach was performing his duty as it is in his purview to issue Excess Fare Ticket (EFT) to persons travelling on the train coach without a valid ticket,” Northern Railway Spokesperson Deepak Kumar said in a statement.
He said the EFT receipt is issued for the fare amount and the penalty money collected from the passengers.
“The TTE has in this regard submitted all the EFTs issued on the particular train to the concerned authorities,” he said, adding, that the Saryu-Yamuna Express of December 22 was running on time and was detained on the outskirts of the Delhi station due to which it was just seven minutes late.
“However, a preliminary enquiry has been conducted on the alleged complaint and the report will be submitted in a week,” Kumar added.
His remarks come after Chawla’s video went viral in which she said: “I am on-board the Saryu-Yamuna Express for 24 plus eight hours. This train is running nine hours behind schedule. For God’s sake, forget about bullet train, focus on the trains that are already running.”
She also took on Goyal, saying the claims that milk is arranged for babies and doctors attend to the sick travelling on trains if they just tweet their needs seemed to be merely a “publicity stunt”.
“We have been dialling railway helplines 138 and 139 and sending you (Goyal) emails but there is no one out there to listen to our woes. There is no food on this train, the seats are broken, toilet seats are dirty and doors have to be opened with a lot of difficulty,” she said.
She asked the Railway Minister to travel like a commoner in the train sometimes to see the hardships the travellers face.