SAMBALPUR: Even as Railways is gearing up to run high speed trains and unveil modern coaches, it is yet to make much difference in the on-board travel experience of passengers. Non-functional fans and lights and broken seats make commuting in AC chair car of trains passing through Sambalpur Railway Station a nightmarish experience.
Although Divisional Railway Managers undertake surprise checks of trains and pantry cars, the woes of passengers of AC chair cars have either gone unnoticed or the authorities have preferred to close their eyes to the problem.
At least two trains __ Titlagarh-Howrah Ispat Express and Balangir-Puri Inter-city Express __ which pass through Sambalpur, have AC chair cars. Leave alone getting a confirmed ticket, one can be fortunate if he gets a good seat. It seems rejected coaches are attached to these trains, says advocate B Acharya, who travelled to Bhubaneswar recently on Balangir-Puri Inter-city Express.
On his return, he cannot join duty for about a week as he developed back pain. Similar complaint was made by contractor Binod Bihari Mishra, who said he had to sit straight from Sambalpur to Kolkata as the pushback was out of order.
State BJP executive member Govind Agrawal said though the general manager of East Coast Railway was apprised about the issue and a memorandum was submitted by Sambalpur Nagarik Kalyan Samiti, no step has been taken so far.
Senior Divisional Commercial Manager Debraj Nayak said he would take up the matter with the railway divisions concerned.