Struggle committee to petition railway ministers for better connectivity

COIMBATORE: Members of the Coimbatore Railway Struggle Committee has decided to push ahead with a long-standing demand of residents to have an overnight train from Coimbatore to Bangalore. The Coimbatore- Bangalore route has substantial daily movement of passengers and cargo and is a high revenue earning sector for private Omni bus service providers. On an average, there are 60 buses plying from Coimbatore to Bangalore transporting more than 1000 passengers daily. Passengers are fleeced by these private operators during festival seasons and weekends in the absence of fixed fares and safety operational norms for private Omni buses.

“We require a train service from Coimbatore to Bangalore which will be a great relief for overnight passengers. One train service allotted in this route can accommodate a major chunk of passengers frequenting this route,” said P R Natarajan, Member of Parliament and Chairman of Coimbatore Railway Struggle Committee.

A delegation of committee members have decided to go to New Delhi and submit petitions to railway ministry officials on May 2 highlighting their demands including the need for an overnight train between Bangalore and Coimbatore. The large number of IT professionals and graduates employed in Bangalore from Coimbatore will directly benefit if their demand gets sanctioned in the near future. Though trains like LOkmanya TT Express, Bangalore Express and Yeshwantpur express pass through Coimbatore junction and Podanur railway station, an overnight train between Coimbatore and Bangalore has been a long-standing demand of residents.

“There is no system to regulate fares charged by private Omni bus operators. It is high time an overnight train service is sanctioned between Coimbatore and Bangalore,” said GK Nagaraj, Co-ordinator, Coimbatore Railway Struggle Committee.

Committee members will also request the railway officials to sanction the Coimbatore -Mannargudi express train and the weekly Coimbatore to Rameswaram express train announced in the recent railway budget. The lack of basic amenities at Coimbatore junction was also raised at the meeting and the need for ensuring gurney support to wheel out injured passengers and patients was also discussed.

“We are hoping for a positive response to our request to halt trains at Peelamedu and Irugur stations, especially those train services which terminate at Coimbatore at junction,” said R Raveendran, member, Coimbatore Railway Struggle Committee.