No Gaya Special this Pitrapaksha!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Oct 2018 11:24:58


By Ankita Garg,

During ‘Pitrapaksha’ every year, Railways used to operate Gaya Special train for those who need to go to Gaya to perform Pind Daan- a necessary ritual performed in respect of deceased ancestors. Gaya Special train was run from Bhopal, Jabalpur and some other places. This special train was like a boon for middle class and poor people. However, this time, no such train has been operated and this has left people hugely disappointed.

This year Pitrapaksha Mela began at Gaya on August 23 and this is for the first time in past four years when Railways has not run Gaya Special. In order to facilitate people for this noble deed, every year Railways run Gaya special train from Bhopal, Habibganj, Jabalpur and other few prominent railway stations.

Sources said that since year 2014, Railways was running Gaya Special train during Pitrapaksha continuously. Every year railway arrange 6 to 10 trips of train in both directions and almost in all trip, train witness full reservation. As this year it has not run the special train, passengers have only one option of Shipra Express which is running from Indore to Howrah. However, many passengers failed to get confirmed tickets in the train as there is huge rush.

Talking to ‘The Hitavada’ Railways Public Relations Officer (PRO) I A Siddique said, “Earlier, our zonal head office used to decide the special trains. Now, Railway Board is authorised to take such decision. West Central Railway (WCR) proposed the board for Gaya Special train. We did not receive any final order from the board for the same. It is true that every year we run Gaya Special in Pitrapaksha, but this year there is no such train. It is the sole authority of the board and we cannot decide over the matter.”

A senior officer, on condition of anonymity, informed that power plants are still witnessing shortage of coal. He said, although data of coal shortage has come down in comparison to previous year but shortage is still there. In order to maintain the continuous supply of coal,
Railways is avoiding several special trains, including the Gaya Special. He said there is also fund issue as Railways does not want to spend extra bucks for special trains. He said, another reason for absence of Gaya Special is shortage of rake.

Amit Soni, a local of Arera Colony said, “We visit Gaya during Pitrapaksha every year with family to do ‘Pind Daan’ of our ancestors.
This year there is no direct train for the same and reservation is full in presently available trains. We cannot travel in general compartment with family so this year we cancelled our plan.”