Railway budget promise for Kerala to face alteration
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: One morerailway budget promise for Kerala seems to be headed the wrong way after general public found that an interstate express train would soon adopt timings not benefiting rail travelers from the state.
Union railway minister declared in the 2012-13 railway budget that the tri-weekly trains 16315/16316, connecting Thiruvananthapuramand Bangalore would be made a daily train. The announcement was applauded by Keralites due to the fact that only Island Express (Train number 16525) currently serve as a daily train to Bangalore.
According to railway passenger association members, without consulting them, new timings are are under consideration by railway, which would come into effect from July 1, when Southern Railway (SR) announces the timetable for 2012.
P. Krishnakumar, General Secretary, Thrissur Railway Passengers Association pointed out that the former timings, to and from Bangalore, ensured that passengers reached destinations during morning hours, however under the revised timings, the passengers would lose half a day before reaching destinations.
“We were the only state in the country which lacked a minimum of two daily trains to Bangalore and so the budget announcement was considered as one of the biggest gains. Railway ran the service without issues, thrice a week, all these years and so this sudden change in timings is baffling. If implemented it would end up as an unbeneficial service as public prefers not to waste daytime while undertaking a train journey. No passenger associations were consulted in this regard and we want SR to take steps to retain the present timings,” Krishnakumar said.
He added that public who went to book tickets for July journey to Bangalore on Tuesday, were informed by booking counter clerks on the change of timings.
“If initiated, then Kerala would lose a night train and people would start opting for Island express, which in turn would create unwanted rush,” said Rahul Raman, a software engineer, based in Bangalore.
While senior officials of SR Thiruvananthapuram Division said that since the train is operated by South Western Railway, SR has not much say in the matter.
A Sundar, senior divisional commercial manager, Thiruvananthapuram told TOI that the change of timings is news to them, as the department is yet to receive any instruction on the matter.
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