Port City gets raw deal from Southern Railways again

Port City gets raw deal from Southern Railways again

 Once again Mangalore has received a raw deal from Southern Railway. The newly announced Mangalore Central-Kacheguda (Hyderabad) Express which commenced service as a special train has been abruptly cancelled owing to poor commuter response, according to the Railway.

The train which directly connects Mangalore to Hyderabad had started its operations in August 2013 as a weekly special train, but went off the track since December. This was one among the four new trains Mangalore had in its kitty when the former Union Railway Minister Pavan Kumar Bansal presented the railway budget, 2013-14 in February 2013.

As if it is not enough, it is learnt that the Railway is mulling over withdrawing yet another newly introduced train, Mangalore Central-Yeshwantpur (via Shornur) Express, again due to the lukewarm response from commuters.

Kacheguda Express

The Hyderabad train was the only train that directly connects the port city with the capital of Andhra Pradesh and it was introduced after a long pending demand, especially from the trade communities. The train has stoppages at major stations in Andhra Pradesh, viz., Mehboobnagar, Kurnool, Gadwal, Kadapa, Renigunta, Katpadi etc and it takes nearly 29 hours to complete the journey traversing through Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Southern Railway Palakad division ADM Mohan Menon told Deccan Herald that poor patronage and lack of sufficient numbers of rakes have prompted railway to keep off the service. “But in any case, the Railway has to run the trains announced in the budget as the same has got the parliament approval. It’s a matter of time to resume the operation of the Kacheguda service,” he maintained.  Kacheguda special train had used rakes of South Central Railway in the brief running period.

Meanwhile the problem with the Yeshwantpur train is that the timings are inconvenient to the public and hence poor response.

It departs from Central station at 8 pm on Mondays and reaches Yeshwantpur at 1.30 pm the next day and in its return journey, the train starts at 11.55 pm on Sundays from Yeshwantpur and arrives at Central at 5.40 pm on Mondays. Sources pointed that if the Bangalore train could have diverted through Mysore instead of Kerala, it would have been immensely helpful and there would be no problem of lack of passengers as such.

Only 1 out of 4 on track

As it has been almost one year after the tabling of 2013-14 railway budget, it is interesting to note that out of the four newly announced trains which will be beneficial to the citizens of the Port city, only one has commenced operation.
 Kacheguda weekly express, Mangalore-Yeshwantpur weekly, Kochuveli-Lokmanya Tilak (Mumbai) weekly and Mangalore-Madgaon intercity daily express are the newly announced trains. Of this, currently Yeshwantpur express is running, that too under the threat of cancellation at any given point of time. Kochuveli-Lokmanya Tilak express is likely to start in this week.

The Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) service announced between Bhatkal and Thokur too lies on paper. Central station Manager Shivadasan responded that Madgaon intercity would start operation as soon as the rakes reach here.

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