Holi over, trains from Bihar brim over

Patna, March 3 (IANS) All trains from Bihar are packed with thousands of migrant workers who are returning to their places of work outside the state after celebrating Holi.

‘There is virtually no place in long distance trains, particularly the New Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat bound trains, till the first week of March,’ a senior railway official said here Wednesday.

Rajesh Singh, who works in a private factory at Ludhiana in Punjab, said it was difficult to get reservation in a Delhi bound train. ‘I was expected to join duty March 4, but I was forced to inform my boss that I will not be able to make it,’ said Singh, who was standing in a long queue at Patna railway station.

Singh is one of thousands of migrant workers who have been waiting at various railway stations across Bihar to board long distance trains.

Dileep Kumar, chief public relations officer (CPRO) of East Central Railway (ECR) at its headquarters in Hajipur near Patna, admitted that trains were overcrowded.

‘It is a fact that railway stations are witnessing a huge rush of passengers, mostly migrant workers, who are returning to join work outside Bihar after Holi,’ Kumar told IANS over phone.

More than one million migrant workers from across India had arrived in the state last week to celebrate Chhath.

‘I have decided to board an express train to Mumbai in the evening,’ said Maheshwar Paswan, who was waiting at Patna junction. Rai, who works in a factory near Mumbai, visited his native village near Masaurih in Patna district to celebrate Holi.

Paswan said he never misses an opportunity to visit his village to celebrate the festival with his family.

‘We have been sitting here for the last five hours, all coaches of long distance trains are packed. But it is not new, the rush in trains is normal after Holi.’

Suresh Mahto, who works in Gujarat, said: ‘There is no place in any long distance train.’

The railways are running some special trains to clear the rush of passengers. ‘We are also attaching extra coaches in long distance trains,’ Kumar said.

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