File image of Laxmi Kanta Chawla | Facebook
File image of Laxmi Kanta Chawla | Facebook
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BJP’s Laxmi Kanta Chawla, travelling on Saryu-Yamuna Express, has a message for Modi & Piyush Goyal — stop thinking of bullet trains, Indian Railways.

Chandigarh: Senior BJP leader from Amritsar and former Punjab health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla has taken on her party’s bigwigs, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, over the falling standards of the Indian Railways.

Chawla issued a strongly-worded video Sunday aboard the Saryu-Yamuna Express, on which was travelling from Amritsar to Ayodhya. She told Modi and Goyal to stop thinking about starting bullet trains and instead try to run current services properly.

Visibly upset, she said when it came to the state of the railways in India, one could safely say there were no “achhe din”.

Delays galore, no response from railways

Chawla’s train was delayed by nine hours to her destination, Ayodhya, and almost 14 hours late by the time it reached its final destination, Jaynagar, Bihar.

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Recording the video from her berth in an AC 3-tier coach, Chawla said not only was the train late, there was no water, no facility for food, and the toilet seats were also broken.

She said she tried to find out why the train had been delayed, but did not get any response from anyone. Later, she found out that the train was diverted for some reason, where it got delayed for about three hours, and the delays just kept piling up.

Chawla also said she tried to get through to the railway authorities, using the publicised helpline numbers, but there was no response. Even emails written to the railway minister had elicited no response.

“It seems that the entire exercise of giving out information that the railways will cater to the emergency needs of its passengers through these numbers was nothing but an exercise in false publicity,” she said.


Also read: Modi’s dream bullet train project has virtually no money and no land so far


Selling seats to ticketless passengers

Apart from highlighting the abysmal condition of the train, Chawla also ‘caught’ railways employee selling seats to two passengers travelling without reservation.

She said some passengers alerted her that the travelling ticket examiner (TTE), along with some other members of the staff, were making a quick buck by providing seats to passengers travelling ticketless.

“I caught them doing it, and finally reported them to the railway authorities on my arrival. I have been told that some action has been initiated on my highlighting the corruption,” she said.


Also read: Modi’s 320 kmph Bullet Train has starting trouble


No ‘achhe din’

Chawla said on the way, she also noticed that hundreds of in-transit passengers were sleeping on the platforms as the railways had not even built waiting rooms for them. “Can you imagine their condition in this biting cold, sleeping outside in the open?” she asked.

A dyed-in-the-wool BJP politician, Chawla is known to call a spade a spade, and said false promises never led any politician anywhere.

She suggested to Railways Minister Piyush Goyal that he should travel as a common man, and figure out the problems being faced by middle-class and lower-middle class travellers. She said while the passenger experience on trains like Shatabdis and Rajdhanis had improved, it did not benefit the poor because those trains catered only to the rich.

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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. Well articulated by Ms. Chawala. Ofcourse, no reflection on Modiji on it as where all one can go and fill the gap! In my view, concerned portfolio In charge ought to be taking more attention & action on these areas curbing time devoted on other publicity acts.

  2. Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist,Barnala (Punjab)

    Kudos to Prof.Laxmi Kanta Chawla for exposing railway department ‘s poor and worst functioning subjecting the train travellers to untold hardships, problems and difficulties !

    She has dared to speak the truth though quite late but better to be late than never as the saying goes !

    She should also not forget that the Prime Minister compromised national honour and dignity by accepting Japanese Government’s offer of monetary aid to run a bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai ! Do not other parts of the nation too deserve bullet train like facilities as the Prime Minister belongs to the entire nation ? Why this discriminatory attitude ?

    When will this BULLET TRAIN hit the rails, can be any body’s guess ?

    Prof PK Sharma , Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala (Punjab)

  3. K.S Pandu
    Wake up andth bhakt
    U still appreciating Demo..God pls help this gentleman and wake him up. Modi while ruling in Gujrat ever opened even a single school in 24 years
    Kudos to congress for IIT. IIM ISRO AIIMS BARC paved the way for IT hub
    Now u see cow university ram temple colouring of buildings and changing the names and trying to manipulate history so they can social engineer fake role of RSS contribution in India’s history in future

  4. I myself travelled a month ago on this train up to Delhi after about 30 years. I was appalled at the grave neglect on Passengers safety and gross deterioration in the upkeep of the train. The repair work done on the second hand coaches was very shabby and a shame. To say the least the coaches were unworthy for travel.. No water in the washrooms. This is s long distance train and was stinking, not a good advertisement of swachh Bharat, beyond photo ops.

  5. We really Appreciate MS.Chawala for sharing real truths & facts about Indian Rail Administration,Time has come for Railway board chairman it,s officials to have look by travelling as a common personnel, it seems rail minister and their officials are giving exaggerated information on Twitter,social media and news papers,this also represents how zonal railway officials enjoying their days in office without doing their job’s with fat salries? It,s good sign that BJP ruled minister has put real facts,punctuality,eating habbits,corruption by TTE,s facilities provide towards passengers? GOD bless Rail minister

  6. After BJP’s defeat in assembly elections, all are crticising Modi as if everything is lost. He is still a strong PM. No common man commenting adversly on demo and gst. Press and tv channels are making false propaganda, MODI is sure to win with full majority in 2019 elections

  7. The Operating Ratio of Indian Railways is 112. That makes it difficult to replace worn out assets, has a bearing on safety. It will be difficult for IR to service the large debt it has been taking on, part of it from LIC. A bullet train will break the bank.

  8. We really must congratulate Ms Chawla for frankly bringing out defects in the Railways functioning. It is only when leaders such as Chawla speak out without fear and setting aside sycophancy that the BJP will really get on the path to improvement as a party.

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