ON BOARD DEHRI-ON-SONE RANCHI EXPRESS: The newly inaugurated Dehri-On-Sone Ranchi Intercity Express train has come as a godsend for agriculturists like Dhanwanti Devi and many more residents from the Palamu division since its launch from the Daltonganj railway station by Palamu MP V Ram on September 15.
Speaking to TOI, passengers on board the train a fortnight after the launch said they found the service not only satisfactory for the ease of transport, but it also provided them support for their livelihood. The passengers from the district thanked Ram, who was instrumental in getting the train service started from Daltonganj, which was earlier connected to the state capital only by road, literally. The alternative rail route to Ranchi passes through Barkakana and Muri and it took more than six hours. The new train cuts the travel time to only four hours.
"Earlier, we had to pay Rs 200 to Rs 250 per head to go to Ranchi by bus and we didn't have the option of returning home on the same day as there is no bus service after 5pm. Staying overnight in Ranchi was very costly for us," said Dhanvanti, who took the train on Monday to visit a private clinic for a medical check-up of his son.
Patients from the district were earlier brought to Ranchi by reserved vehicles as travelling in overcrowded buses for them was not an easy affair. "Now, I have bought tickets for Rs 80 each and will be returning home today itself as the train reaches Ranchi around 10.05am and it will leave at 5.15pm for Daltonganj," added Dhanvanti, who is a resident of Polpol village, around 10km from Daltonganj.
The new railway connectivity with the state capital has also opened new avenues for residents of districts like Garhwa and Latehar , who can now imagine of coming to the capital in search of jobs.
"I have been applying for jobs in the private sector and for that purpose, I often have to visit Ranchi. Now, I can come and return on the same day after attending a few interviews," said Suresh Ganjhu of Latehar, who even dreams of taking up a job in Ranchi and still stay at his home.