With no public transport, rail passengers fleeced by autos, taxis

By Anand Singh

May 13, 2020
New Delhi: Even as the Indian Railways started the partial train services in the form of Special Rajdhani Express trains, the passengers coming to the New Delhi railway station complained that they were being over-charged by the taxis and auto rickshaws.

Faheem, a doctor by profession, who is travelling back to Chennai from Delhi, told IANS, “The taxi charged us over Rs 650 for 10 km distance. Earlier we only paid around Rs 200 from Gautam Nagar area of Delhi to the New Delhi railway station.”

Narrating his ordeal, he said, “I used to stay in a paying guest to prepare for the MCI examination, as I have completed my MBBS from abroad. But, despite the Delhi government’s announcement that the tenants don’t need to pay the rent, we were forced to pay.”

“I am going to Gujarat from the train today. And I paid Rs 500 for the auto rickshaw from Raghuvir Nagar area to New Delhi,” Bhelji Bhai, who is travelling back to Gujarat along with his wife and a small child, said.

He said, the auto rickshaw charged us Rs 500. Earlier, we used to pay Rs 200 for the same distance. Another student said that as no public transport is available, finding a taxi or auto rickshaw is a tedious task.

Tanveer Ahmed, a resident of Srinagar, told IANS, “We are travelling back to Jammu from the train today. We paid Rs 700 to the private taxi to drop us till New Delhi railway station from Sangam Vihar area.”

Several others had to walk to reach to the railway station to catch the train as there was no public transport available.

At least nine trains were scheduled to depart from the New Delhi station on Wednesday. The first Special Rajdhani train departed for Thiruvananthapuram in the morning while the eight others left in the evening.

On Wednesday, four Rajdhani Special trains arrived from cities like Howrah, Ahmedabad, Patna and Mumbai. The railways has resumed its services of 15 special air-conditioned trains from May 12, almost 48 days after suspending all passenger, mail and express trains amid the novel coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown.

The railways has issued a time-table for trains between May 12 and May 20. These daily, weekly or bi-weekly trains will run between New Delhi and all major cities across the country, including Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.IANS