Representational Image | Photo: Arun Krishnankutty
Kannur: The woes of Malayali passengers from Malabar to Bengaluru continues even as demands for new trains from Kozhikode and Kannur fall on deaf ears. Currently, Yesvantpur Express(16528), passing through Shornur-Kannur, and KSR Bengaluru City Junction–Kannur Express, both servicing at night, are the only rides for Malayalis from Malabar to Bengaluru.
However, 1508 passengers can only travel in Yesvantpur Express and 1052 in Bengaluru–Kannur Express at a time, which is comparatively much less than the number of people looking to travel to Bengaluru daily. Around 10 lakh Malayalis are living in Bengaluru, and a vast majority return home to Kerala frequently. Due to the absence of trains, they are often forced to rely on private buses, which demand hefty fare.
For several decades, the passengers requested Southern and Southern-Western Railway for trains that service during daytime. However, the private bus lobbies are said to have played a part in preventing the railway from introducing new trains in the zone.
Meanwhile, tickets are hard to come by during the festive seasons due to the railway often revising and increasing the fares for even Tatkal tickets. During Onam season, the rate for booking sleeper classes in Yesvantpur Express was increased from Rs 370 to Rs 1155. In the case of the AC 3 tier, the increase was from Rs 1000 to Rs 3350.