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No confirmation! Pilgrims disappointed as they have to settle for RAC tickets

Story: the | goan | 01st May 2019, 07:27 Hrs

Direct train to Velankanni from Margao


The annual hunt for the train ticket to the pilgrim  centre of Velankanni for the novenas of Our Lady of Velankanni, beginning  on August 29, began on a disappointing note for hundreds of pilgrims. 

When the ticket reservation on the direct train to  Velankanni from Margao on August 27 was opened at the Margao railway  station, a group of pilgrims made a beeline, hoping to book the ticket  and avoid the mad rush. To their utter disappointment, the first  application move inside the ticket counter at the Margao railway  station, came with a reply that the applicant will be eligible only for  RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) ticket, making clear that tickets  up for sale have already been sold.

 A Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) is a type of  ticket that ensures certainty of travel, but it does not guarantee a  berth and a berth will be allocated to the person who reserves an RAC  ticket if passengers who already have a confirmed ticket do not turn up.    

 A resident of Aquem-Baixo, Inacio Dias, who was one of the  applicant, who stood in the ticket queue, said that none of the ticket  seekers got a ticket on the direct Margao-Velankanni train, and they had  to settle for a RAC ticket. “May be the ticket quota allotted to Margao  was exhausted by the sale of tickets online,” he said.

Inacio, however, demanded that the considering the huge  demand from pilgrims from Goa to travel to Velankanni for the annual  novenas, beginning from August 29, the Goa government should intervene  and press into service special trains well on time. “The special  trains should be put in service by the government well on time, so that  the pilgrims reach Velankanni for the novenas. The fact that train  tickets of the direct Margao-Velankanni train leaving Margao on Monday  got exhausted within seconds goes to show the heavy demand for trains  to the pilgrim centre during the novenas,” Inacio said.

Thousands of pilgrims from Goa head to Velankanni in Tamil  Nadu every year for the 10-day novenas, beginning from August 29 and the  feast of Our Lady of Velankanni celebrated on September 8.

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