What happens when all the trains in the country stop running at the same time in a middle of the rush hour?
The result is panic, sheer bloody panic. This is what I came across yesterday when all trains stopped at 4 PM in the evening just at the start of the rush hour, without prior notice asking for a salary hike.
It was around 6 PM when I got to the Ragama train station after finishing a very busy day at the college, when I got to the station there were people gather around the train with a handful of cops. By then I thought it was because of some sort of small incident, but when I asked from a policeman what has gone wrong he told me that all trains have stopped at the same time as a sign of protest. The people at the station were trying to attack the train driver because of they were abandon at Ragama station, police were called to calm down the incident.
It’s fair in the people’s point of view to get mad at the train drivers because people pay for their transportation and the train workers have no right to go for a protest without proper announcement and specially in the middle of the rush hour.
So the policeman told me that it’s easier for me to take the bus, nothing else to do I went to the bus stop, and things couldn’t get any worse than that, because all the trains had stopped everyone going to their homes after work has no other options other than going by bus. Because of this now all the buses are jam packed with some people even going on the roofs, things looked like in India where I’ve seen pictures of people going on the roofs of trains and buses.
Even at the bus stop there were nearly 200 people gathered trying to catch a bus, bust because all the buses were jam packed even they were left with no other option other than wait. I nearly stayed two hours and the time was nearly 9 at night, I waited hoping the crowd would lessen up so I can catch a bus, but the crowds at buses kept increasing. By then mom had also gotten scared because now it was night and I had no way of getting home.
Finally I called my uncle where I’m staying and explained him the situation and asked whether he can come and pick me up. I know it was a trouble for them, and I didn’t like to trouble them at all, but yesterday’s situation left me with no other option. Luckily he agreed to come and pick me up. I was so frustrated when I got to back home, unable to do anything I had no other options other than hitting my bed. The railway workers have talked with the government and has come to a decision, and the strike was called off.
People really need to be more responsible when taking such drastic moves, it’s OK to protest asking for a salary hike, but people should not put others lives in trouble in doing so. I was lucky because my uncle was there to come and pick me up,what about other who can’t do something like that. I hope at least next time when people are going to protest they’ll at least make a proper announcement so we won’t end up in a big trouble.