First train reaches Delhi, passengers scramble for transport for onward journeys

Special trains
The train departed from Ahmedabad at 6:30 pm on Tuesday and reached New Delhi at 8 am. Photo: PTI

Hundreds of passengers from Gujarat and Rajasthan reached New Delhi on Wednesday on the first train to arrive here since the resumption of railway services, as a large number of them gathered on roads outside the station with no transport available for onward journeys.

The train departed from Ahmedabad at 6:30 pm on Tuesday (May 12) and reached New Delhi at 8 am.

The Indian Railways resumed passenger train operations from May 12, initially with 15 pairs of trains, weeks after these were suspended due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. Many passengers stood clueless outside the railway station, while some tried to convince to local cab drivers to take them home in various states.

A group of 14 men who worked at a hotel in Jaipur were among those scrambling for a transport. Ashok Tamta, 22, from Khatima in Uttarakhand said they have no clue as to how they will reach their home.Tamta, who was to get married on April 8, said the Jaipur hotel where he worked closed leaving them jobless.

“We had no option but to return to our places. We did not think once when the train services resumed, booked a ticked and set out on our journeys,” he said. His friend and co-worker Deepak Kumar from Pithoragarh said they will sleep on the roads and walk to their home state if they dont get any transport.

A group of three men from Chennai, who worked in Jaipur, were also among those who were waiting outside the station till their train to hometown reach the station at 4 pm.
Furkaan, 26, said there was no option but to wait outside on the road. The only relief is that the weather is cloudy. His friend Gilani, 26, said they had dinner last night and that there was no food left with them. “Its going to be hard…but whats assuring is that we will reach our home,” he said.

Passengers said they underwent screening during departure and arrival and authorities ensured everyone followed social distancing norms.

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