MALAPPURAM: The decision by Railways to run the two new trains, Antyodaya Express and Jan Shatabdi Express, without stopping in the district has drawn the ire of political parties and passengers associations here.
Alleging negligence towards traveling woes of the district they are now up in arms against Railways.
“30 trains are already running without stop in the district. The new decision to not allow these short distance trains is speaking volumes about how the district’s demands are being denied,” said Riyas Mukkoli of Youth Congress.
Antyodaya has already started its service while Jan Shatabdi’s service is expected to be started soon.
Youth Congress, which has already launched its Red Signal campaign and approached Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, is now planning second round of campaigns and protests.CPM has already approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking his intervention in the issue.
“The district is the largest in terms of population. Besides, Tirur railway station is the second largest station in Malabar while it comes to revenue generation,” said CPM district secretary EN Mohandas. The CPM leader wondered why the Railways remain reluctant despite the district has demand and it offers optimum revenue. CPM has so far approached party MP P Karunakaran seeking steps to raise the issue in Parliament and authorities concerned.
According to Riyas, Tirur has more passengers than Kannur and Kasargod railway stations, where stoppage is given for most of the long distance trains. Railways often justify their decision citing technical reasons. But, Malabar Rail Users Forum functionaries point out the district can stake claim on stop for these trains.”Stops are denied for long distance trains citing technical impediments and conveyance of passengers. But, these are short distance trains and they have been introduced to help domestic passengers in the state,” said forum chairman Muneer Kurumbadi.
Muneer said Tirur has turned to be a major transit point after Chamravattom bridge was opened. “Pilgrims to Guruvayur temple, Ponnani and northern parts of Thrissur district alight Tirur and catch buses,” he said.
Rejecting Railways claim E N Mohandas pointed out long distance trains have stops in Thrissur and Shoranur even though the two stations have difference of around 30 kilometres.
Muneer urged people’s representatives from the district to join hands and take up the issue with authorities concerned.