BANGALORE: “I was physically abused by a ticket collector. I was pushed around though I protested that it was a mistake by the railways. This has affected my health to a large extent. I will fight it out till I get justice.” This is what A Ravindran, a private firm employee, had to say about his journey from New Delhi to Bangalore.
Ravindran (29) booked a ticket on October 9 and boarded the Sampark Kranti Yeshwantpur-Nizamuddin Express the next day. He had even received an SMS from the railways confirming his ticket. When the train reached Bhopal, a couple asked Ravindran to vacate the seat saying it was allotted to them.
Thanks to the South Western Railway (SWR), which had booked two people on the same ticket, Ravindran was made to leave the seat by the ticket examiner, who, after much haggling, gave him a berth next to a toilet.
Ravindran went through the same ordeal at Manmad railway station when another ticket examiner boarded the train and started questioning him. He was manhandled and hurled with profanities by the ticket examiner, Ravindran claims. After the journey, Ravindran was admitted to a hospital as his blood pressure shot up. “I had a stroke recently, for which I require sleep as I take heavy medication,” he said.
“When I said that I would write to Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, the ticket examiner did not relent and even abused the minister. When I boarded the train, the chart listing the seats allotted had not been displayed on the bogie,” said a fuming Ravindran.
He told Express that he has written to Sadananda Gowda in this regard on October 17. And though he had written a letter to SWR, Ravindran said he has not received a response yet.
“This shows their (SWR’s) apathy towards passengers. However, the minister has assured me that he will take immediate action. I want the particular ticket examiner and the person who prepared the chart to be brought to justice.I don’t want others to go through the same experience. Imagine sleeping next to a toilet in a train. It was sickening,” he added.
SWR Unaware of Complaint
When contacted, South Western Railway Bangalore divisional railway manager (DRM) Anil Kumar Agarwal said, “I haven’t seen the complaint as it normally goes to the ADRM’s office. The concerned ticket examiner is definitely not from our division since except the Rajdhani Express where our ticket examiners travel the entire distance, in all other trains, they change every 400 kilometres. In the case of the Sampark Kranti Express, our TTE would have boarded the train only at Dharmavaram or Hubli,” he said.
In such cases, the complaint is forwarded to the corresponding division where the incident has taken place, after which the TTE in question is summoned for an enquiry. Only then a final decision is taken, added Agarwal.