Poor response to Bangalore-Puducherry Garib Rath
Last updated: 30 May, 2009
S Lalitha, Bangalore, DH News Service: 22:32 IST
It has turned out to be loss - making journey for the Railways
The weekly Garib Rath to Puducherry is turning out to be a burden for the Railways from the financial point of view.
The lukewarm response from passengers has put a question mark on continuity of its operations. It was originally envisaged as a tri-weekly and was started as a weekly.
Sources said the chances of the weekly run surviving also look pretty slim. The tri-weekly plan has gone into cold storage.
Inaugurated on January 3 this year from Puducherry, the Puducherry-Yeshwantpur Garib Rath Express was expected to generate a great response as no direct train existed between these two cities.
“The occupancy percentage in the train is 27%,” informs Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division, Akhil Agrawal. The train comprises 16 air-conditioned three-tier coaches and can accommodate 1,600 passengers. However, the general occupancy number is below 450 passengers. The Garib Rath has turned out to be loss-making journey, said a top railway source. Starting from Yeshwantpur, it touches Puducherry after stoppages at Hosur, Dharmapuri, Salem and Villupuram. “The journey time is ten hours and five minutes from the City to Pondy and 10 hrs and 25 minutes towards the City. That could be a factor working against its popularity,” said an official. “The same distance by bus takes just eight hours,” he added. Any decision on its termination is expected to be taken before the new Railway budget is presented.