Thanks to upcoming Prakashotsava, Patna Junction has got a swanky look with the Railways leaving no stone unturned to provide basic amenities to visiting Sikh devotees.
Big banners welcoming the devotees and help desk centres set up by the district administration are taking people by surprise.
What has added to the festive mood at the junction is Punjabi announcement by railway staff. “Ji aaya nu, thodda Patna di dharti te swagat hai (You are welcome to the land of Patna)”. This announcement by a railway staff caught 70-year-old Gurucharan Kaur, who reached the junction along with her daughter Ravinder Kaur on Wednesday, by surprise. Gurucharan was happy after she was welcomed in Punjabi because it was the only language she could understand. Her daughter, however, can speak in both Hindi and Punjabi.
Sikh passengers were heard singing ‘Gurubani’ as a Patna-bound train from Punjab reached its destination. Slogans like ‘Wahe Guru ji ka khalsa, Wahe Guru ki fatah’ rent the air at the junction.
For the first time, two scanner machines have been installed at Patna Junction for security purpose. “Almost half of the employees of Danapur division are on duty for Prakashotsava. We have also deployed four extra battalions of railway protection force (RPF),” said R K Singh, public relations officer, Danapur division, East Central Railways.
Singh said help desks have been set up at Danapur railway station, Patliputra railway station, Patna Junction, Patna Sahib railway station and newly renovated Patna Ghat railway station. “Bookings and railway enquiry could be done at our counters at various tent cities too,” Singh said.
All trains reaching the city halt at Patna Sahib railway station these days. A passenger train has been especially introduced for Prakashotsava. It runs between Patna Junction and Patna Ghat railway station.
However, Patna Sahib railway station, which is receiving maximum number of devotees, is still undergoing renovation. Unlike Patna Junction which is all geared up for the event, Patna Sahib railway station gives a shabby look.