Delhi all Foggy and soggy

Posted: December 23, 2006 in Arbit Thoughts, Gibberish Blabber

Its just been about 5 days in good old Delhi and you bet its beginning to strike, the cold I mean. In the last three days I have been twice to the airport and once to the railway station to pick my relatives up.
My Dad and brother came today and the day before and my cousin came yesterday. all these three days I have been kept stranded and waiting for at least three hours. Delhi is extremely foggy these days, so much so tat by the time I normally wake up, which is by noon it still seems like its 0700 in the morning with an outside visibility of not more than 10- 15 meters. As a result there have been mass delays in flight schedules and train arrivals.
The day before yesterday when my dad was arriving from a flight from Mumbai, the 16:30 flight finally landed up in 22:30 and today my brother’s 17:00 hours flight landed at 22:20. But, as I understood from the ground situation out there, we were clearly the lucky ones. A lot of flights were actually running behind schedule by 10-12 hours. The airport waiting lounge, including the sparkling new state-of-the-art waiting area was swarming with people resembling more ISBT(Inter state Bus Terminus – The Central bus stand from which busses to all other states depart) than an airport. what had accentuated the problem was the massive lag in the information system. The information being doled out to the waiting passengers and/or their waiting relatives was either outdated or clearly lacking any valuable content. For example a Jet airways had already landed at 5:55 and yet the status message still showed as expected. What was surprising was that the chaos was even worse for the private airlines. The Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines were lying deserted and there were no trace of information counters for Air-Deccan, SpiceJet or for that Matter any LCO’s (Low cost Operators). Even The Prettiness’ of Kingfishers were nowhere to be seen! the Indian (Airlines) counter was staffed by one or two people on rotation and these folks updated the ‘INFORMATION’ white-board with quanta of information every 30-45 min.
What was however a sight worth seeing was the scenario at NDRS(New Delhi Railway Station). We went there yesterday to pick up my causing who are coming over to spend their Christmas vacations with us. After a quick lookup from the ‘friendly’ Railway Telephone Enquiry System (Automated Voice Response system) we were informed that the train we were looking for was delayed by 2:30 hours and was expected by 19:30. This information remained unchanged even until the train finally arrived at 22:40. There was apparently no updation of information taking place. What was much more troublesome was the fact that yesterday it was a disaster waiting to happen at platform number 6&7. Almost 5 trains were expected from the past 4 hours of delays and the loudspeakers uncannily kept announcing all of them to be coming to platform 6 or 7. The result was total confusion and huge and chaotic commotion. The platforms, staircases and even the over bridge corridors connecting the different stations were lying choc-a-bloc with people. The place was so much crowded that it was almost difficult to get a stable foothold in the platform.
This was getting aggravated every passing minute for the past 40 minutes when the Railway police suddenly got into action and started threatening blows on people in the stairs and the over bridge in an effort to de-Clog them. What they risked was a mass stampede and huge casualties especially with lots of children, ladies and senior citizens waiting in the platforms. By an act which can only be described as a grace of God, before anything so tragic could have occurred the Railway Authorities quickly realized the impending disaster and started announcing people to come out of station 6&7 as they would be diverting some trains to stations 1,2&3 which were empty by now. They also kept repeating to them, asking them to move slowly and in order and not causing panic or succumbing to the incredible tendency to push and jostle for that extra opportunity for movement while moving.
The AutoRickshaws as usual had a field day, and ethical as they are known out to be (For Non-Delhi folks: A Very Serious Pun is intended here) they ended up making profits which they would probably would have made accumulated on three normal working days!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s