Inspection specials upset schedule of regular trains

Many a time, MMTS trains on Lingampally-Falaknuma route, and a few other passenger trains, get delayed for over an hour to ensure a smooth run for specials carrying VIPs

Next time you board a train, pray that no inspection special train carrying the Railway Minister or senior members of the Railway Board is chugging along the same route.

If it is, then the chances of your train being delayed for a long time, is quite possible.

This is what has been happening for the local trains and other services whenever Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge accompanied by a team of senior officials travels in his special inspection train from Gulbarga to Umdanagar via Secunderabad railway station.

The daily schedule of many trains of the Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) on the Lingampally-Falaknuma section and a few other passenger trains is going haywire – at times the delay being for more than an hour – to ensure a smooth run for the special train carrying the VIPs.

Ripple effect

Delays in clearing the MMTS trains is having a cascading effect on other services too, complains S. Krishnamurthy, a regular commuter on the Lingampally route.

In the last few months, Mr. Kharge had travelled quite a few times in his inspection special on the Gulbarga-Umdanagar route and vice-versa. Gulbarga being his constituency, the Minister prefers to travel on this route since it is convenient to reach Shamshabad airport and board a flight to New Delhi.

It is much more convenient than travelling by road from his constituency to the Bangalore airport, say railway officials, pleading anonymity.

While it takes just about half-hour to reach Umdanagar station from Secunderabad station in a special train, covering the same distance by road takes much longer.

And, it’s not just the Railway Minister. Even senior railway officials including Railway Board members prefer special inspection trains over travelling by road.

For instance, during the recent launch of the Raichur-Gadwal railway line, a special train was operated from Secunderabad to Raichur for the convenience of senior railway authorities.

Authorities deny charges

However, railway authorities deny that other train services were being hit or passengers being put to inconvenience because of running the special trains.

“Other trains are not stopped for more than 10 minutes whenever special trains are run,” they claim.

Other passenger trains are usually stopped due to security and operational reasons to make way for the Minister’s special train, the SCR spokesperson said.