Gaya: Railway minister Laloo Yadav promised a sea change in the railways, but his home state tells a different tale. The authorities, for fear of Naxals, have orphaned a station in Bihar.
Durga Prasad sells railway tickets at the Karjara Railway Station in Bihar's Gaya district. For the last two years Durga Prasad has been single handedly running this station.
Repeated Naxal attacks have forced the Railways to all but close it down. Durga Prasad acts as the station master and the ticket clerk.
"This a Naxal area and there have been two-three cases of theft here in the station. This place\ does not even have a ticket table or chair. That’s why I carry all the tickets in my bag,” Durga Prasad says.
Karjara Railway Station has nine employees on its rolls. But none of them ever dare to come down here. Offices on the railway platform have remained locked for years.
And it’s up to Durga Prasad to turn up every morning to cater to the needs of travellers. But even he doesn’t dare to stay too long.
"I have orders from Danapur to stay here the whole day and leave before it’s evening. I leave with the 4 pm train,” Durga says.
And it’s the travellers who have to bear with the inconvenience.
"Sometimes the train is here on the platform but we are unable to find the station master. So we have to get on the train without a ticket. We have been caught many times,” an angry commuter, Sanjay Kumar, complains.
Even train safety is compromised here everyday as there is no fulltime signalman.
Lalu Prasad claims to have revamped the railways but here in his home state lies a tale of how the entire government machinery has surrendered to the might of Naxals.