A message from Punjab BJP stalwart and a former health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, urging them to focus on existing train services goes viral on video. She advised them that they would do better if they stop obsessing over the Bullet Train and put their heads together to improve conditions in the existing trains.
She deplored that she was indeed pained to see the plight of common passengers when she recently travelled from Amritsar to Ayodhya. The Saryu-Yamuna Express train, which was earlier known as the ‘flying train’ was nine hours late, she recalls. “PM and the Railway Minister should take pity on the innocent passengers who were not even informed about the delay by Railway authorities,” she recalls.
“My only appeal to the government and PM Modi is, please take pity on us common people. The trains are so broken down… We have suffered so much difficulty in the past 24 hours, the train changed direction and is running late, but no one is giving us any information. There is no food arrangement for people spending extra 10 hours on the train,” said the veteran leader, who used to be a college lecturer before joining politics.
“Forget about trains that run at 120 km or 200 km per hour. People are on the footpath, there is no waiting room and people are sleeping in the open in such biting cold – Piyush Goyal ji and Modi ji.” She also talked about corrupt railway officials demanding bribe. Chawla said she had tried every helpline advertised by the railways and had even mailed the minister, but the helpline appeared to be “only for the newspapers”.