The passengers of Howrah bound Kandari Express from Digha that reached its destination on Friday wee hour after several hours of scheduled time, were worried about getting back home.
But, none of the 325 passengers could imagine that a pleasant surprise was awaiting them from Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee ahead of the assembly elections in the state.
In an unusual move the South Eastern railway arranged for taxis to drop the passengers to their destinations and for the passengers who had to catch local trains in the Howrah suburban section were given places to relax and offered tea and snacks.
Howrah-Digha Kandari Express was detained at Nandakumar station for several hours as the services were disrupted from 7.20 pm to about 11 pm on Thursday due to an accident between a goods train and a bus near Tamluk on a manned level crossing gate in the Kharagpur Division of South Eastern Railway.
As a result the train which was scheduled to arrive at Howrah at 9.40 pm on Thursday, finally arrived at 2.15 am on Friday.
Adequate number of taxis were made available to the passengers to drop them at their places of residence as the South Eastern railway shell out Rs12,600 as taxi-fare.
Two teams comprising railway officials and RPF personnel were formed for the same. While the first team led by Pramod Kumar, Additional General Manager, South Eastern Railway camped at Howrah station, the other led by Chief Commercial Manager (Catering & Passenger Services)
To ferry the passengers to their respective destinations 51 taxies were hired at Howrah and 7 taxies were hired at Santragachi at railway's cost.
The railway officials say that this unprecedented move has nothing to do with the state election as it was General Manager of South Easter Railway Vinay Mittal who went to the accident spot on Thursday, took the initiative.
"The General Manager of South Eastern railway himself went to the accident spot. Keeping the difficulties of the passengers in mind, he took such an initiative," Somitra Majumdar, Chief Public Relation officer of South Eastern Railway said.
However, when asked that whether such initiative will be taken in future also if trains get delayed, Majumdar said, "In this case the situation demanded. It will be examined on a case to case basis. We will do so only if the situation demands."