New Delhi: Authorities of Indian Railways went red-faced on Saturday after an advertisement in almost all the leading newspapers on the day of inauguration of Maharajas’ Express from Kolkata to Nalanda showed Delhi in Pakistan.
The advertisement was published by the Eastern Railway.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to flag off the Maharajas’ Express at 9 pm today in Kolkata.
The map showed Kolkata, Gaya in Bay of Bengal, Varanasi in Orissa, Gwalior in Maharashtra and Delhi in Pakistan.
When contacted, Railway authorities, however, completely absolved themselves of responsibilities saying it was the fault of the concerned advertising agency.
"It is a great mistake. We apologise for this. The advertising agency has been suspended," Eastern Railway’s Chief Public Relations Officer Samir Goswami said to a news agency.
According to them, a Kolkata-based agency, who has given the charge of the publicity, was to blame. The Railways had provided the agency with the route details only and not the map shown in the advertisement, they claimed.
When contacted, owner of the advertising agency said the route alignment had been given for the benefit of passengers. "The map and the alignment are an artist`s impression and not to scale. It is never our intention to create a controversy," he said.
Furthermore, Raliways has blacklisted the ad agency.
About two months ago, an advertisement by the Ministry of Women and Child Development featured the picture of former Pakistan air force chief Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed alongside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath, and cricketers Kapil Dev and Virender Sehwag.
In the meantime, an advertisement issued on Friday in Pakistani newspapers by the police force in Punjab province featured the logo of its counterpart in India`s Punjab state, triggering an outcry among the people.