Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Indian Railways bails out stranded Air India passengers across country

MANY stranded Air India passengers including bureaucrats of various ranks had to board trains to continue their journey on Tuesday as India’s national carrier was severely disrupted thanks to the ongoing strike by senior pilots beginning Saturday last. In fact, many senior government employees who by rules had to take Air India to avail of LTC claims for their vacation virtually hit the air-pockets because of the sudden development in Air India. Significantly, Indian Railways swung into action and set up train passenger reservation counters and ‘May I Help You’ booths at all important airports throughout the country on Tuesday for the convenience of stranded passengers who want to travel by trains. What’s more, zonal railways were asked to coordinate with airline officials to facilitate the movement of stranded passengers for using train travel option. Stranded passengers were asked to contact the nearest passenger reservation centres or visit the website for e-ticket. Railways minister Mamata Banerjee further stepped in to bail out Air passengers by announcing that additional coaches could also be tagged on to superfast trains to carry the passengers. Also, the railways would run special trains from Wednesday to carry the air passengers from Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore to their respective destinations. She also asked union minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy to run an additional service of the Shipping Corporation of India on Wednesday to bring back the air passengers stranded in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Meanwhile, it was a tough day for senior civil aviation officials including secretary M Madhavan Nambiar and Director General of DGCA who on Tuesday met the representatives of all the airlines to ensure that passengers traveling by Air India had to undergo minimum inconvenience due to cancellation, re-routing and merging of Air India flights. Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav is also an IAS of 1978 batch.

Lt Gen Badhani takes over as DG Border Roads Lieutenant General M C Badhani took over as the 20th Director General Border Roads in place of Lieutenant General A K Nanda. The BRO, which was established in 1960, has earned the reputation of being the only road construction agency to maintain roads in difficult and inhospitable terrain and climate. An alumnus of National Defence Academy Khadakvasla, Pune, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, College of Defence Management, Secunderabad and National Defence College, New Delhi, Lieutenant General Badhani had an illustrious service in the Army for 38 years.


  1. Really good to see one national carrier stepping in to mitigate the distress caused in another.The inimitable lifeline of the nation, Indian Railways....

  2. The strike only adds woes to an already ailing Air India. Though Praful Patel promises flag of the national carrier will be flying high, already in the last three days AI has lost over Rs 80 crore. Time is tough and the pilots should understand this.

  3. Shouldn't we debate whether an IAS officer should be given charge of handling such a specialised entity?