Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the Railways to provide additional train services from Bengaluru to Mangaluru.
While disposing of a PIL petition, a division bench of Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy directed the railways to come out with a concrete solution to accommodate more passengers travelling from Bengaluru to Mangaluru by either providing special trains or adding more bogies to the existing train. The petition was filed by Latha Ramesh, a Bengaluru-based advocate, and Pradeep Kalkura, a Mangaluru-based businessman and social worker. “This is not a frivolous PIL; it raises a public issue and the railways must find a solution to solve the problem,” the bench observed. The petitioners had contended that though the railways had promised them special trains, the proposition never materialised.
“Former railway minister D V Sadananda Gowda had said that two night trains were already operating and one more will ply soon. However, only one train is operating. This train, which runs from Bengaluru to Mangaluru, splits into two with one going towards Kasargod and another towards Kundapur. This cannot be considered as two trains,” said Puttige Ramesh, counsel for the petitioners.
The petitioners also contended that the festival season is likely to begin shortly and there will be more passengers going towards Mangaluru and Udupi. “Only those passengers, who travel by light vehicles can go by road along the Agumbe stretch, and not those travelling by bus, due to conditions of ghats. On another route, through Charmadi ghats, the traffic density is high and there are frequent road blocks,” said counsel Ramesh.
Citing a recent incident where two ministers were struck for a long time on this road, the counsel said that the government should provide restrooms for travellers.