BANGALORE: With the proposed Hubballi-Mysuru express train via Bengaluru remaining on paper, the South Western Railway has sent an alternative proposal for starting a diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) for those leaving for Mysuru in the evenings.
With only one express train running to Mysuru between 4 pm and 8.30 pm, thousands of people are forced to squeeze into Chamundi Express which leaves Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna station at 6.15 pm.
SWR, in 2016, had proposed a new train between Hubballi and Mysuru via Bengaluru which was supposed to leave Bengaluru 30 minutes before Chamundi Express, for the convenience of daily commuters.
However, more than six months after the proposal, the Railway Board is yet to give its approval even as an increasing number of people are writing to railway officials seeking a remedy. Officials said they were aware of the passengers’ demand but were helpless because of the shortage of coaches.
“We have now proposed a DEMU between Bengaluru and Mysuru to decongest the Chamundi Express. The DEMU can carry about 2,000 passengers. We hope the Board will approve it soon,” a senior official said. The official said that according to the tentative time table, the train will leave Bengaluru around 5.45 pm and reach Mysuru by 8 pm. In the return direction, the train will depart Mysuru around 8.45 am.
The official clarified SWR will not drop the proposal for the Hubballi-Mysuru train via Bengaluru. “There may be a delay in sanctioning the train but we won’t drop it. Once the board approves the express train, it will replace the DEMU,” he said.
Last week, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha had posted a video on Twitter showing his with interaction with passengers in the packed Chamundi Express.
The video was accompanied by a message to the railway minister: “Sir, @sureshpprabhu @SWRRLY dis is d fate f those who board Chamundi Express (Blr-Mys) @6.15 PM. So only demanding new train @narendramodi ji.”
Indicating that the proposal will become a reality, Simha tweeted on Thursday, “Demo rake is ready, but after seeing the congestion I felt 8 coaches demo is not enough, so asked 4 18 coaches n waiting (sic).”