Poor crowd response to Commonwealth Express

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 16:46 hrs

Kolkata: The Commonwealth Express may have chugged into the city of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday, but the crowd response to witness the train was very poor.

"In Allahabad, an overwhelming 27,392 people visited the informative, well-exhibited train that has CWG 2010 and information technology as its themes but in Kolkata Railway station at Chitpur only 1,020 people have turned up till 5 pm after it was opened at 11 am today," a member of the feedback team of the Commonwealth Express said.

"Didi ke sehar se yeh ummid nahin thi... (We are really surprised to see such a low response from Mamata Banerjee's city," the feedback team member said.

"In a small city like Patiala, we had more than thousand turnout, while Patna had more than 25000 visitors on one day. It seems there has been low publicity here. They (Railway Ministry) should have organised it properly," he said.

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When contacted the promotional in-charge (ICT) of the Commonwealth Express train, Deepak Sharma, said the turnout has been low.

"The station location -- in the remote Chitpur -- maybe a reason," Sharma said.

"However, we are expecting more crowd tomorrow, the second and last day of the stop in Kolkata."

Chief PRO of the Eastern Railways, Samir Goswami said, "This has been a joint initiative by two Ministries -- Railways and Communications. This was scheduled at Chitpur only.

"Maybe, next time, we will ask for your suggestions," he quipped.

Kolakta is the 20th stop of the green-coloured Commonwealth Express train that was flagged off by Mamata Banerjee from Safdarjung Station on June 24.

On a countrywide journey in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, the train has 49 stops in its schedule before arriving in Delhi on October 2, the eve of CWG.

Out of the 11 AC coaches, five are dedicated for displaying information related to CWG (venues, disciplines and India's performance).

The remaining six coaches exhibit the transformation of our lives following the advent of information technology.

Earlier, Eastern Railway felicitated a total of 15 sports persons attached with the Railways.

The Commonwealth Express will be stationed at the No 1 platform of Kolakta Railway Station for public viewing free-of-cost before it sets off for its next stop in Durgapur on July 31.

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