I am a regular user of IRCTC web site for booking the railway tickets for me and my family members. I had booked the return ticket for our journey from Villupuram to Madurai by Train No. 0613 in the Second Sleeper class. The date of journey was 30.12.2007. It was a confirmed booking with all three of us getting lower berths.
The train came a little late to Villupuram station and there was a huge rush due to the arrival of thousands of passengers from Northern India for a Kisan mela held in Rameswaram. Amidst a heavy stranding, we were able to get into the allotted coach S6 and we found that some other passengers were sleeping already.
On enquiry, one of the passengers who occupied our allotted berth told us that our accommodation had been shifted somewhere. Confused with the information, I went out to check with the chart and found that our names were not there. To seek a clarification, I searched for the coach TTE but he was not found there. After a few minutes and just before the train was about to start, he came in to the coach and informed us that our ticket was “UPGRADED” and we were allotted berths in the 3AC coach. But before we were able to lift our heavy luggage, the train started to move out from the station. The TTE argued that we should have checked with the chart in Villupuram Junction. I can not really understand asto why a confirmed ticket holder should check with the list at the station.
The TTE suggested that before the train reached Virudhachalam (the next station), our berths in AC3 tier may be allotted to somebody else. I asked him to contact the AC3 TTE through my mobile atleast for keeping the berths unfilled. But we were told that the concerned TTE did not have a mobile phone. So, taking all the luggage, we were rushing from one coach to another through the vestibule system but found that the shutters between S10 and the AC3 coaches were down already. Keeping our fingers crossed, my wife, my 13 year old daughter and me were traveling in S10 standing for the next one hour of journey. Since I am already a patient with Sinus Tachy Cardia and Fistula in Ano, the anxieties added to my pains. Fortunately the TTE in the AC3 coach waited for the passengers to come and settle down at the next station.
Here are a points given by me....
a. How a confirmed ticket could be upgraded without any information to the concerned passengers?
b. In the case of the Railways extending the comfort of an upgraded journey atleast in such “in-between” journeys, the Railways should have asked Villupuram junction to inform the concerned passengers atleast through the Public Address System.
c. Such problems would always crop up when you nominate one TTE for manning 4 or more coaches in Special trains. Please ensure that the TTE is there to inform the concerned passengers well in advance. When he boards the coach just before the train starts off from the station, the agonies for passengers pile up resulting in heavy anxieties and myriad inconveniences.
Let the authorities give suitable explanation.