GUWAHATI, May 21 � A large number of train passengers are dissatisfied with the Northeast Frontier Railway for providing services on some trains which the passengers describe as poor, or below expectation.
Many passengers who take trains to travel to Guwahati on a daily or regular basis feel that the standard of the trains are below that of other commuter trains running in the rest of the country providing comfortable and low cost transport.
Nripen Chandra Das, a businessman who takes trains to commute between Guwahati and Rangiya believes that even though the NFR deserves to be commended for running commuter trains, said there is much scope for improvement.
�An increasing number of passengers are boarding the trains without tickets, which causes great inconvenience to those travelling with tickets,� he remarked, and wondered why there are no regular checks in stations as well as in trains. A source in the NFR, acknowledged the problem, mentioning that a scarcity of staff creates hurdles in carrying out regular checks.
Poor upkeep of the coaches is an issue that unites many passengers who travel for up to three hours or more on commuter trains to reach their destination. A government official stationed in Nagaon, who preferred anonymity, said: �the NFR needs to ensure that the coaches are cleaned in frequent intervals.�
According to a section of passengers, many of the coaches used in the commuter trains are several decades old and can actually be unsafe. Dipankar Sarma of the Assam Rail Passengers� Association pointed out that some coaches manufactured in the 1980s continue to be in service.
As summer sets in, passengers in some trains are enduring a hard time with many fans out of order, and scarcity of water, he mentioned. He and some other commuters also referred to the issue of passengers smoking inside the coaches. Unlike in long distance trains, there is hardly any deterrence to this practice in the commuter trains.