DHUBRI, March 5 - Acute staff crunch at the Dhubri Railway Station has led to the closure of the ticket counter for general seats, resulting in free rides for passengers in most of the trains starting from Dhubri town.
According to officials at the railway station, Ranjit Kumar Das, the station in-charge, was given the responsibility for selling general tickets at the station. He shared this task with another employee, Rajiv Ranjan Kumar, for all the six trains that ply from Dhubri.
Later, when Das fell ill and went to Guwahati for treatment, the entire burden of sale of general tickets went on to the shoulders of Kumar. He also has been unable to carry on the work. �Kumar has been working alone and non-stop for 90 days,� said an official.
The official said that selling general ticket was not an easy task as hundreds of tickets are needed on a single day. �The first train starts from Dhubri as early as 5.30 am and trains continue till 8.45 pm.� This staff crunch has led to passengers travelling for free in all the trains without tickets.
It was also informed that the Dhubri Railway Station has completely discontinued sale of general tickets of the 75742 Dhubri-Siliguri Junction Intercity Express, which starts daily at 1.40 pm, and passengers are riding in the train completely free.
�We have no options. When general tickets are not being sold, we are bound to ride for free. what can we do?� said one of the passengers. �Even the Train Ticket Examiners are aware of the situation and they don�t check our tickets,� he added.