78 special trains, 519 trips, 2.2 lakh additional berths: Railways plan to handle Chhath, Diwali rush
New Delhi, Oct. 26 (PTI): In good news for passengers planning to go home during Chhath and Diwali festivals but are not getting confirmed tickets, the Northern Railways Friday said it was adding 2.2 lakh train berths for the festive season.
A senior official of the zone said 78 special trains are being run between October 15 and November 15 and they will make 519 trips during this period to handle the rush.
Taken together, these trips will add over 2.2 lakh passenger berths to various destination in the northern railways zone, NR General Manager Vishwesh Chaube told reporters.
All the trains are to be placed on platforms at least 30 minutes before their scheduled departure to ensure that the passengers have ample time to board.
The Railway Board has instructed the Northern Railways to maintain punctuality of these special trains, sources said.
This year, the festival of Diwali falls on November 7, while the Chhath puja is on November 13. The two festivals are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and devotion across the country, but the Chhath puja is especially popular in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Millions of people from these states working in the National Capital Region head home during these festivals to celebrate them with their families.
A railway statement said that while on an average about 8.5 lakh passengers are handled each day at the various terminals in the national capital area on normal days, the New Delhi railway station alone witnesses a daily footfall of up to six lakhs during these festivals.
Similarly, on normal days, the Anand Vihar Terminal handles around 50,000 passengers daily, which increases to above 80,000 during Diwali/Chhath.
Similarly, there is about 20-30 per cent increase in traveller volume at Delhi Junction Station at this time, Chaubey said.
He also said that between November 2 to November 13, no platform tickets will be available so as to limit the passengers on platforms to facilitate those boarding or alighting the trains.
“Apart from RPF/RPSF personnel, scouts/civil defense personnel are also deployed to help control the crowd movement.
“RPF staff are deployed in large numbers for forming queues of passengers at platforms to enable them to board the trains in a disciplined manner. Constant CCTV camera monitoring is done of all the major stations and additional ones are installed for covering every inch of the station premises,” Chaube said.