Monday, Dec 18, 2017 | Last Update : 12:13 PM IST

Eye on Gujarat polls, Antyodaya Express to be inaugurated

THE ASIAN AGE. | ARPIKA BHOSALE
Published : Oct 7, 2017, 6:00 am IST
Updated : Oct 7, 2017, 10:49 am IST

The Antyodaya Express is a flagship train of the railway started on dense routes especially for the common man; it is fully unreserved.

The Antyodaya Express is a flagship train of the railway started on dense routes especially for the common man.
 The Antyodaya Express is a flagship train of the railway started on dense routes especially for the common man.

Mumbai: The western railway (WR) will inaugurate the Antyodaya Express from Udhna near Surat on October 7 in the wake of the Gujarat elections. BJP leader and minister of state (railway) Rajen Gohain will do the honours of cutting the ribbon. WR Officials said that the programme had been sanctioned and pushed by BJP to garner brownie points ahead of the elections.

The Antyodaya Express is a flagship train of the railway started on dense routes especially for the common man; it is fully unreserved.

WR officials will leave for Surat for the opening ceremony on Saturday night itself.

WR is not only facing three different public interest litigations (PILs) but also in the process of planning a presentation for union minister Piyush Goyal after ten days. However, all of that will be put on the backburner for at least 24 hours during inauguration of the Antyodaya Express.

An official on condition of anonymity said, “We have cancelled our official Diwali celebrations to honour victims of the stampede but we are now heading to Surat at a time when we should be showing sensitivity to the plan and speeding up work here in Mumbai.”

Meanwhile, the flagging-off ceremony has drawn strong comments from commuters.

Hiral Mehta (27), a designer who travels by WR for work, said that politics was behind the crippled railway system of the city.

“Until the stampede, I had never heard or read about a railway minister asking MMRDA or BMC what they were doing to help the railway and how their plans would decrease crowds in trains. But it’s difficult even to hear that instead of working, officials are now rushing to stand next to a minister as he cuts the ribbon,” she said.

“The Gujarat election campaign can do without the railway’s help. Railway officials should be allowed to do their work instead,” Ms Mehta added.

Tags: western railway, antyodaya express