Railways finding it difficult to tackle Kumbh rush

Last Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 - 21:40

New Delhi: In spite of pressing over 60 special trains into service for the Kumbh fair, Railways is finding it difficult to tackle the huge rush.
"We ran 40 special and 69 scheduled trains till 4 pm today and 44 more special trains are ready to clear the extra rush at Kumbh," said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with Kumbh operation.

Railways had run 198 trains including 61 special trains yesterday. One special train equipped with 24 coaches carries about 3,000 passengers per trip.

Keeping the Kumbh rush in mind, Railways had pressed 1,880 extra coaches and into service. Besides extra coaches, 650 RPF personnel are being deployed by Railways at Allahabad and adjoining stations to tackle pilgrim rush.

A day after the stampede at the overcrowded Allahabad Railway Station claimed 36 lives, Railway Minister P K Bansal said it was not possible for Railways to run trains every 10 minutes to clear the heavy rush of Kumbh passengers.

"There are a total of 12,000 trains on Indian Railway`s 65,000-km-long route system which carries 2.3 crore passengers in a day. So all the trains cannot reach at one spot in a day as there are limitations on the part of railways to carry crores of passengers in a given day," he told reporters.

He was asked whether Railways was prepared to handle the rush of 3 crore passengers in a day at Kumbh fair.

"Even if we want to run trains after every 10 minutes we cannot do that because there has to be a minimum gap between two stations and safety of passengers who have boarded the trains is also equally important for us. Trains cannot run like vehicles run on roads," he said.

Bansal had gone to Allahabad to assess the situation and also to ensure arrangement for the forthcoming three holy baths at Kumbh.

Huge rush of pilgrims are expected at holy bath slated to be held on February 15 and 25. There is one holy bath next month also.

PTI




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