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Within minutes of the opening of reservations of first class and first class AC, three months in advance of travel, availability of seats and berths on Internet is shown as wait listed. The passenger receives a message Chart Not Prepared. Even one or two months after booking, the message one gets on checking the booking status through PNR position is Wait Listed - Chart Not Prepared. Even one day before the scheduled date of departure, the intending passenger continues to get the message Wait Listed - Chart Not Prepared. The passenger assumes that his waiting list position has not changed and his chances of getting confirmed travel ticket are almost nil - as his position on the waiting list has changed. No sitting or sleeping berth cancellations over weeks are reflected on the list of Wait Listed Passengers. He continues to get the message CHART NOT PREPARED. So the passenger cancels his wait listed ticket just before scheduled departure. He also cancels the confirmed tickets for the outgoing or return journey as he is not able to get reservations on the outgoing or return journey. The railways have said in an official communication: "in 1st AC Class/ First Class, generally the seat/berth is allotted at the time of chart preparation. The chart is generally prepared 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train." That means the passenger does not know his confirmed travel reservation position until 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. And the on board TTE (Travel Ticket Examiner) gets the opportunity to sell the seat/berth at a premium price. If is is not fraud on the travelling passengers, how does Indian railways explain the reservation procedure? I am a 76 year old who has been victim of this fraud on more than one occasion. I could not travel and had to bear cancellation charges. I urge you to expose this racket. I am prepared to assist your investigation team in any manner you wish.
Ravi Chawla Flat 403 Versova Gayatri CHS 142 Off JP Road, Near BonBon Footwear, Four Bungalows Andheri West Mumbai 400053. Handphone: 9322633718
There was a recent article in TOI regarding the increased revenue from the duty free shop at IGI airport. Fine. But at the same time I had a very bad experience. I arrived on Feb 6th from the US on a 4 week visit. I made a purchase at the IGI duty free shop using my credit card. On Jan 26, I received an email from my credit card company to contact it regarding a suspicious purchase. When I called them I was told there was a charge of $77.00 for a perfume purchase against my card. Someone had obviously appropriated and used my card number at IGI since my purchase on Jan 6 was the only time I had used that card since arriving in Delhi. Thankfully my credit card company had found the charge suspicious and alerted me. Needless to say I for one am no longer impressed with the IGI duty free shop and will never shop there again. I am also alerting all my friends and relatives to avoid shopping there. Ironical and sad to say, the fraud happened on Jan 26 when the country was celebrating it's 63rd independence day from another oppression!


I wonder if there's a moderator to filter this type of incorrect publication of the news. Editor must look from the reality specs to see what writer is trying to say and not just to ensure that TOI gets more viewers and hits due to eye catching phrases like "Caste". This incident has nothing to do with the caste and the fight is not because there's different opinion among high society and lower caste people. This is one "so called" spiritual guru trying to degrade sayings of the "real" gurus. If these so called gurus are real and they think they are good in saying what they are saying then they shouldn't be afraid of sacrificing their life for their followers and preachers and their religion, just like the real gurus did and sacrificed their lives for not their own religion but for other religion and this is what called a true guru. Rest of these dera's people are just encashing illiteracy of Indian people and filling their banks with these poor people. Politicians like Badal on the other hand are supporting these people to increase their vote banks. You don't need religion to understand this, just a little mind which god has given you. Its only a matter of efforts -- start using using your mind rather than others.

I have read the article on "world's highest rail bridge over Chenab" which appeared in the TOI dated 30.05.2011. KRCL created history by executing the Engineering marvel-the Konkan Railway Project. I congratulate KRCL for undertaking another strategically important project- the rail bridge over Chenab river- which is going to be the world's highest and wish the very best for its speedy and successful completion. In the above referred article it is mentioned that the bridge will use 25000 million tonnes of steel. The quantity created a doubt in my mind as India would take more than 400 years to produce this quantity with its present installed capacity of about 60 million tonnes per annum. As against the prevailing max wind speed of 266 kmph, the bridge has been designed for only 90kmph, which will limit the use of bridge, may not be available for traffic throughout the year and may proove to be a big limitation specifically at the time of a war/ terrorist attack. If Highest Flood Level in the river permits, is it possible to lay the bridge at slope(with min possible deck level at centre of the river) so as to reduce the height of bridge, reduce incidental wind speed and wind load on bridge and ensure availability of bridge possiblly throughout the year, even during times of max wind speed? This will also result in reduced cost of bridge. You may like to clarify the above. S.K.Shishodiya

The real story
The article At Least 3,000 Children Died In Residential Schools (Feb. 19) rightly brings to a wider public the fact that sending first nations children to residential institutions did not protect them from the diseases sweeping their reserves, and that confined spaces such as dormitories enabled those diseases to spread widely among the children.
But important context is missing: During most of the years in which residential schools operated, communicable diseases were also a constant threat in the tents and cabins of their parents, shelters that were just as confining as any dormitory. Spanish flu, for example, took a terrible toll on entire aboriginal communities, not just on students in residence.
Lack of medical care for all first nations people, young and old, is the real story here.
Mark DeWolf, Halifax

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