Andhra Pradesh Express stops in Rajamundry for three hours after passengers protest against lack ...

By Express News Service

RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: The AP Express bound to Visakhapatnam was stopped at Rajahmundry railway station for nearly three hours on Sunday afternoon with the passengers complaining about non-functioning air-conditioners in a couple of compartments. Later, a special train was arranged for the stranded passengers, who protested against non-functioning of ACs.

The New Delhi-Visakhapatnam AP Express, which is fully air conditioned, is scheduled to reach Rajahmundry railway station at 1.53 pm and it leaves after a 2-minute halt. Passengers travelling in III AC and II AC compartments of the express train, staged a protest at the railway station against non-functioning of ACs.

They alleged that the ACs were not functioning properly since the express train left New Delhi. Unable to bear the sweltering heat, the passengers mobbed the guard of the express train and also thronged the station manager’s cabin, demanding immediate repair of AC units.

The passengers said they experienced severe inconvenience due to improper functioning of ACs at Bhopal, Nagpur and Vijayawada railway stations. They deplored the ‘indifference’ of railway authorities to their plight as it failed to ensure a comfortable journey to them despite charging AC  fare. They demanded replacement of AC units in the two compartments which became obsolete.

A South Central Railway release said that due to failure of both power cars of No 22416 New Delhi - Visakhapatnam AP Express, the ACs stopped functioning. As there was no other alternative to provide AC in the compartments, the Visakhapatnam-bound AP Express was terminated at Rajahmundry railway station.

The SCR arranged a special train from Rajahmundry to Visakhapatnam for the stranded passengers. It ensured that the passengers did not face any inconvenience in boarding the special train with their luggage after alighting from the express train. Porters were arranged for carrying luggage of the passengers, the release said.

P Bhaskar Reddy, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Vijayawada, personally monitored the situation with the help of Kalyan, Chief Commercial Inspector, Rajahmundry, and ensured that all the passengers safely boarded the special train to Visakhapatnam.

The SCR also took the responsibility of providing catering services to the passengers. “We also arranged special ticket checking staff to escort the passengers up to Visakhapatnam. Special refund counter was also set up at Rajahmundry for the convenience of the passengers of AP Express,” the SCR release said.

All the 550-odd passengers left for Visakhapatnam around 5.50 pm. Divisional Railway Manager P Srinivas lauded the railway staff, specially commercial department, for making special arrangements for the stranded passengers within a short time.

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