AC coaches: Vizag has hardly anything to cheer about

“Waltair DRM seem to have no time for the problems of passengers”

The Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (ECoR) has bagged the unique distinction of being among the select few Divisions in the country to have crossed the 50 MT mark in freight loading by achieving originating loading of 51.54 MT and freight revenue of Rs.5275.83 crore during the just concluded financial year.

So, what’s the incentive it got for its consistent performance year after year? “Diversion of trains, diversion of facilities like Wagon Repair Shop (WRS) to Odisha, reduction of the quota of berths … and the list seems endless,” say former railway union leaders, Railway Zone Sadhana Samithi leaders and others, who have been consistently fighting against the ‘injustice’ being done to Waltair Division.

Unfortunately, our people’s representatives have already gone into election mode for the 2014 general elections and seem to have no time for the problems of railway passengers.

On April 10, ECoR announced the augmentation of AC coaches on 14 pairs of trains.

There is hardly anything to cheer about for the people of Waltair Division. Only one train from Visakhapatnam to Korba was given an additional III AC coach, while the remaining AC coaches have been augmented to trains originating from Bhubaneswar and Puri. Coaches are generally added to trains, which have huge wait lists over and above the capacity of the class of coach. A large number of people prefer AC to Sleeper Class during summer.

There are about 16 trains originating from Visakhapatnam and 47 AC coaches are at the disposal of the Vizag base. The coach composition of most of these trains remained the same since their introduction.

Representatives of various organisations fighting against the injustice to Waltair Division allege that the augmentation of AC coaches was so chosen so as to avoid Visakhapatnam in most cases and some were not even running through AP.

It’s high time our MP s wake up at least now and live up to the aspirations of the people, whom they represent.