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Chandigarh : In the sweltering heat and the non-functional air-conditioning system, it is a nightmare for the 150-odd rail ticket-seekers, who jostle to remain in the unending queue at the railway reservation centre at the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Sector 17 here.To make matters worse for visitors, especially senior citizens, there is no seating arrangement for them as they are literally suffocated. Unable to bear the physical trauma, some give up the hope of getting a ticket. Today being a Sunday, there was more rush at the reservation centre. People had started gathering there from the wee hours.As soon as the booking staff arrived, ticket-seekers blocked the main entrance to the ticket centre. Four police personnel, including a woman constable, pushed some persons, making way for the staff to enter the booking centre.Ticket-seekers jostled to enter first to get a 'tatkal' ticket. Those who were standing in the queue... Read more...
for about two hours remained helpless as the police personnel did not bother to discipline the crowd.NR Nayak of Sector 18 said he arrived at the centre around 6:30 am and was waiting outside the centre in a queue.He said that as soon as the main door of the reservation centre was opened, people standing outside the queue did not allow them to enter the booking centre.He said the police was only concerned about the safe entry of the booking staff and thereafter, left the place.He said even the ceiling fans were non-functional, making it difficult for them to wait in the sweltering heat.A woman ticket-seeker, who did not wish to be identified, said she worked with an insurance company and was dealing with double the number of clients.She said she was shocked at the behaviour of the woman constable, who pushed her aside when her turn to enter the booking centre came.She said the air-conditioners installed in the centre were non-functional and five ceiling fans had been installed at the other end, which hardly provided relief to people standing at the booking counter.Chief supervisor (reservation) Karnail Singh said air-conditioners were functioning properly, but in view of the huge rush, those were ineffective.He said about 150 'tatkal' ticket-seekers visited the centre daily, but only 60 per cent of people could get those and the rest visited the centre again the next day.Mahesh Kumar of Mohali said the machine at the centre to provide basic information was not equipped with the software to provide information about connecting trains.He said two air-conditioners were insufficient in view of the large number of people. He demanded that more air-conditioners be installed, keeping the monsoon season in view.