I thought it was something new.
I hadn’t seen anything of the sorts happen before, not that I went for it regularly or not even rarely if you may. But when I did, I never thought something like this would happen.
Today I went to meet a friend who was going to join a company inAhmedabad– Mudra Port – at Old Delhi Railway Station. The plan to meet him was an impromptu plan, as was his’ to report & join the offices as soon as possible.
He was already inside the station, waiting for his train sitting in the ‘Upper Class Waiting Room’ on 3rd Floor.
I went to the station, knowing all well that I would have to buy a platform ticket to gain an entry & meet him, at least to keep the process completely legal 😉
I went in search of a Platform Ticket Counter to many windows, and asked people enqueued there to know if the ticket would be available there.
A few directed me to places (e.g.. around the next corner) where there seemed to be no counter (as it turned out I rounded 1 corner too soon), then to an absurd direction which I couldn’t make anything out of.
I was amazed that after even less than 1 minute of trying on those directions I repeatedly found myself at the end of Line of Enquiry window.
I figured to go to Enquiry in the 1st place, because (from some earlier times) theChandigarh Railway Station had platform ticket being vended at Enquiry Counter.
I again asked the person at the end of line of Enquiry where the platform ticket would be available; and I think the answer that he gave me was the most sensible one: ‘Ye toh enquiry counter hai, yahan platform ticket thode na milegi!‘ (translated as : ‘This is the enquiry counter, how can you get a platform ticket here!’).
After hearing this, with a zeal I went in search of Platform Ticket Vending Window, and surely enough I found one!
But Alas! It was closed. Not shut down with no person sitting behind it, but just covered in such a way that it was obvious that no one would be entertained.
I had to meet an old friend, and needed to get to the platform, thus I still went ahead, and asked the Lady behind the counter as to whereabouts of platformtickets. She just said it’s not available, and on asking so what do I do now, was just told to go to Enquiry and ask.
But I persisted and asked again, ignoring that she had already told me it, and got a reply to read the pieces of paper stuck to panes of the counter, which I had earlier thought to have been placed to avoid direct sunlight (even though there was no chance that any part of sunlight could reach there ;))!
The piece of paper stated in no exact words that – ‘The sale of Platform tickets has been discontinued effective 09/09/2011 till further notification‘. I couldn’t do anything, but still went in enquiry line to check if there is a solution to my problem.
On my way there, I found that a few policemen were chatting around, so instead of standing in a long queue to hear the result, I just went up to one of them and asked as to how to get to the platform. They then told me that ‘sale of platform tickets has been prohibited by Government of India‘.
There was no point in asking till when, as it didn’t matter to me at the moment!
P.S. a quick google search showed that cancellation of sale of platform tickets is not uncommon, and I did figure out the possible reason while there itself. But what I couldn’t fathom was why were they not being sold at this time of the year! Even Dussehra is good 10+ days away!
- Meeting Manish on way to MPSEZ
- my first day in delhi… (manavshai.wordpress.com)
- Now, Virtual Tickets accepted by Indian Railways – No need of physical printouts! (trak.in)
- National Rail Enquiries Phone Number (athingforcars.com)
- One in four railway ticket offices set for closure (metro.co.uk)
- Visit to Shirdi’s Sai Baba – Shirdi, India (travelpod.com)
- Buying rail tickets online needs to be simpler, Watchdog says(rail.co)