Monday, August 20, 2012

Petty reasons get in way of Double Decker train flag-off

The train has been waiting for a neta to flag it off for the past three months.

The much-hyped Double Decker train between Jaipur and Delhi has been waiting for a neta to flag it off for the past three months. The train stood in the Jaipur yard for about three months before it was recently sent to Delhi in anticipation of being flagged off by Railway Minister Mukul Roy on August 16. The event has been postponed thrice so far.
When Mamata Banerjee announced the train during her railway budget speech two years ago she had indicated that the Jaipur-Delhi AC chair car train would originate from Jaipur. It took about a year to make its coaches and choose its engine. It then ran between Jaipur and Delhi four times, though without any passengers. Thereafter it was showcased in other states as a new venture of the Indian Railways.
Meanwhile, the authorities remained undecided whether the train should originate from Delhi or Jaipur. Railway authorities in Delhi wanted it to be flagged off from Delhi's Sarai Rohilla station while Rajasthan political leaders including MPs and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot reportedly tried to ensure it started from Jaipur. If the train with three stoppages between the national Capital and the Pink City was inaugurated in Delhi, it would naturally be flagged off by the railway minister while a decision in favour of Jaipur would have allowed Gehlot to do the honours.
Finally, the railway minister won the race and it was announced that Roy would flag off the train on August 16. But a spokesman for the North-Western Railways subsequently said the "ceremony" was postponed to an undeclared date for "unavoidable reasons".
The uncertainty over the train has forced the North-Western Railways to extend the running of Jaipur-Delhi Sarai Rohilla holiday special more than once


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