DHR ‘messes up’ Germans’ toy train ride

The Statesman

Darjeeling, 21 April
The Clubside tour operator here has complained that some German tourists who planned a steam engine toy train ride had to face a harrowing time due to the “apathy of some officials” of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).
The 10 tourists had reached India’s favorite summer destination, Darjeeling, recently this month and had chartered rides in Darjeeling’s steam engine locomotive for four consecutive days beginning April 20.
“Yesterday, when the group went to take the train ride from Siliguri to Rongtong and reached the station, they had to return after the station manager told them that they do not possess statements, though they showed the manager the tickets,” Mr Suresh Periwal, managing director of Clubside Tours and Travels, said today.
“Today as well, they were supposed to take the train from Siliguri to Tindharia/Ghayabari, but upon reaching Rongtong, the steam engine was replaced with the diesel one.”
The tourists were told that the station had no water to keep the steam engine running,” he added.
Mr Periwal said the Germans had chartered the steam train in February after they paid Rs 88,000 to the DHR.So far, the tourists have not spoken anything about their two remaining days that they are supposed to take the train ride  (Kurseong to Darjeeling on April 23) and (Darjeeling to Kurseong on April 24), Mr Periwal said.
“The tourists are very disappointed due to the nonchalance of some officials of the DHR and we are having a hard time explaining things to them.”
“Even the DHR authorities have remained silent on the matter,” he added.Mr Periwal said he has written to the DHR, seeking an investigation and demanding a refund of the cash the tourists paid.

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