Ranchi: Ananya Choudhary, Ranchi’s undergraduate law student, questioned the railway authorities after it changed tracks of the Delhi-Rajdhani Express and asked passengers to catch buses from the Daltonganj railway station on September 3.
The authorities reportedly did it over ‘track agitation’.
According to Ananya, she demanded a written explanation of how or why the train changed its track. After eight hours, the authorities ran the Rajdhani Express for 300 kilometres with her as the lone passenger from Daltonganj to Ranchi.
The train was stranded at Daltonganj station, 300 km away, for several hours due to an ongoing agitation. Over 250 Tana Bhagats were agitating at the Tori Junction, as per The Quint report. While the other passengers took various options to reach their destinations, she stayed put.
Ananya was returning from Varanasi. She kept talking to officials and tweeting about the matter until 3 pm when the Railways gave in. An hour later, the train began rolling with Ananya as the only passenger. The route diversion increased the distance to Ranchi from 200 km to 300 km and she reached Ranchi around 2 am on Friday, 4 September – several hours after the scheduled arrival time.
Ananya also shared her ordeal on Twitter, “I Just wanted the railway authorities to give me a written reply on how did the train end up on the wrong route. People bought tickets of an expensive train like the Rajdhani Express to prevent the coronavirus infection and in return, they were asked to travel by buses without any explanation.”
She further mentions that when she raised her voice, the authorities asked her and other passengers in her bogey to not go by bus and offered to arrange cabs for them. “After I objected to buses, they offered to arrange for cabs. Isn’t this a form of bribery? Did I raise my voice because I wanted to travel in a cab instead of a bus?” Ananya said in a video shared on Twitter.
Real Side of the passenger traveling to DDU to Rnc via New Delhi Ranchi covidsp train @I STAND AGAINST WRONG! just wanted a written response by the legally involved administration of the act Of putting the life in danger of 929 passenger @I said I m representing All the Passenger pic.twitter.com/zt7mEaijaG
— Ananya Choudhary (@NormalHumanAna1) September 5, 2020
Reacting to the incident, the railway authorities told The Telegraph that the train had to be taken to Ranchi anyway at some point so that it could start its return journey on Sunday.
Quoting Dhanbad railway division spokesperson PK Mishra, The Telegraph report mentioned that the bi-weekly train was diverted through the Gomoh-Bokaro route as the train was to leave for New Delhi from Ranchi on Sunday.
“If the agitation continues till Sunday, the train will again travel on a diverted route via Bokaro-Gomoh towards Delhi,” he said.
Several users including actress Swara Bhasker applauded Ananya for her lone efforts. However, Ananya said she did it on behalf of all passengers because she was aware of her rights.