Maratha Morcha flop show cost Railways Rs 58 lakh

Updated: Dec 16, 2016, 19:09 IST | Shashank Rao

The Railways was approached recently for arranging free train services for participants of the Maratha Morcha held on December 14 in Nagpur. But although two rakes of 15 coaches each were sought and brought from New Delhi to Mumbai, the outcome of it was loss of public money as the demand for expenses got cancelled at the last minute


Marathas assembled in Nagpur on December 14, but their numbers were abysmally lower compared to previous turnouts. Pic/PTI

The Railways was approached recently for arranging free train services for participants of the Maratha Morcha held on December 14 in Nagpur. But although two rakes of 15 coaches each were sought and brought from New Delhi to Mumbai, the outcome of it was loss of public money as the demand for expenses got cancelled at the last minute.

Murky transactions
Incidentally, the silent protest saw got a weak response in Nagpur, as unlike previous rallies, only 15,000 people participated in this morcha, which aimed to disrupt the winter session of the assembly. Sources said a few days prior to the rally, the Railways was approached for special train services on the Mumbai-Nagpur route. When Central Railway sought information on the same, they were informed that the railways did not have spare coaches here, so arrangements were made to bring them from Delhi.
Normally, idle coaches — whose periodic overhaul is approaching or maintenance is pending — are assembled to create one rake. In this case, two rakes of 15 coaches each were brought.

“We began making arrangements for the same and quoted R29 lakh for each rake after calculating the expenses, but at the last moment, the demand was cancelled,” said a railway official. But, the empty rakes had already left for Mumbai from Delhi. On reaching the city, this 15-coach long-distance train was kept waiting at CST. “We didn’t run this train as they didn’t make payments,” said Narendra Patil, chief PRO, Central Railway.

Loss of fuel, electricity
Sources said the organisers had demanded that the trains be run as regular ones, with people being charged sleeper coach fares. But since the trains were already en route, it translated into loss of money, as well as wastage of electricity and fuel.
The organisers, however, claim they got one rake each, which was operated on Nasik-Nagpur and Nasik-Kolhapur routes.

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