With no onward facilities, several left stranded at New Delhi station

Absence of transportation kept people running helter-skelter to reach destinations

With the absence of onward facilitation, many arriving at the New Delhi station on Thursday found themselves stranded even as they made multiple calls in a bid to arrange private cabs.

Vikas Kumar, a civil engineer working in Kolkata, reached the city at around 11 a.m. only to be welcomed by an empty parking lot, sans autos and taxis. His journey was only half way through, as he was Karnal-bound.

“It has been three hours already and I have been waiting here, trying to arrange for a cab that will take me to Karnal. Who knew there won’t be any arrangement? Some of the co-passengers had private vehicles pick them up. But for people like me who has a long distance to cover, that is not an option,” he said.

For 21-year-old Shivnandan Kumar, the wait was longer, as he did not have the means or requisite information to board the special train to Patna.

“I had gone to Mathura just before the lockdown to drop my sister at her in-laws’ place and got stuck there. I took a truck from there and reached Delhi in the afternoon to take a train back home. But the police did not let me enter as I did not have a ticket. I am penniless right now and do not know how to book an online ticket,” he said.

“Everything is shut here and I have not been able to arrange even food. How do I go back?” asked the man from Bhagalpur.

Long wait

Even as hundreds got to make their journey back to their home States, several labourers, with no resources to buy tickets for the special trains, continued their wait outside the station.

Jitender Sahni, who hails from Samastipur district in Bihar, has been outside the New Delhi station’s Paharganj entrance for three days. Camping under a tree with his wife and two children, he said that despite being close to the station, their wait for the train was turning out to be “endless.”

“We want to go back but we cannot afford the tickets. Every time we try to approach the entrance, police personnel send us back, stating that only those with tickets can enter. Where will we get ₹5,000 for the tickets? We have walked from Faridabad, over two days, and reached the station with the hope we can return. It seems nobody cares about us,” said Sahni, a daily wager.

Sitting next to the Sahni family, Rajendra Swain, from Odisha’s Cuttack district, added: “There have been several people who have been coming throughout the day and asking for details. These children have been lying on the sidewalk for three days. Even though I have arranged for a ticket for Friday’s train, I will probably have to spend the night under this tree itself.”

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:24:54 PM |

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