Passengers agitate over sleeper coach in lieu of AC coach

About 60 passengers of Patna-bound Bangalore City-Sangamitra Express who had booked their berths for 3-tier air-conditioned coach got agitated when the Railway authorities offered a sleeper coach at the City Railway Station. The authorities claimed that the AC coach is undergoing a major repair.

Claiming that it was highly difficult to travel for 50 hours in a sleeper coach to Patna, Tabish Ashraf, an agitated passenger, told The Hindu that the Railway authorities are very casual in their approach. He wondered whether it was that difficult to arrange an alternative AC coach.

Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Bangalore Division of South Western Railway (SWR), N. Ramesh said the division did not have an alternative AC coach and hence a sleeper coach was provided. “We are providing bed-rolls to passengers and also are refunding the differential fare,” he told The Hindu.

However, Mr. Ashraf, a software engineer in Bangalore, discounted the officer’s claim and said SWR personnel on the spot were not inclined to provide bed-rolls as promised. Though the passengers attempted to stop train’s departure, which was scheduled to leave at 9 am, authorities promised to provide bed rolls once they get in. “Once inside the train, we are told that they are not going to provide bed rolls,” Mr. Ashraf said after the train pulled out of the station at around 10 am.

He said this is a serious lapse on the part of the Railways and he is planning to move the consumer forum about the deficient service.

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