Kerala likely to be affected badly if train services are stopped
Kochi: Kerala will be totally affected if the decision to cancel Jan Shatabdi and Venad Express trains is implemented citing poor patronage. The passengers were reduced due to the restrictions imposed by the Railways itself for maintaining social distancing. Netravati and Rajdhani Expresses are already cancelled due to the mud slip on Konkan route.
Even though more COVID cases are reported in Tamil Nadu, they have more trains. The number of trains increased there during each phase of Unlock. However, a different step was taken in Kerala and no new train services started here. The MPs and the government also did not make any moves for new trains.
Reasons for low income
- Change in current reservation - Before COVID, reservation was charted 4 hours prior to the train time. Current reservation was allowed upto 30 minutes before the train starts, if there were any seats vacant. After special train services commenced, current reservation is allowed only 2 hours prior to the train time.
- Full reservation - Travelling in all coaches including general coaches is allowed only through reservation. Also reservation counters are available only in major stations. Sleeper and ordinary tickets should have been allotted for the convenience of passengers. Also there should be a facility to buy tickets from the counter in the last minute.
- Unscientific survey - After Unlock-4, number of passengers is increasing. But the Railways survey calculated the number of passengers in the trains to be cancelled, before September. Offices started functioning in the normal way after September 1.
- Jan Shatabdi that started from Thiruvananthapuram Central station on Wednesday afternoon had above 600 reservations from Thiruvananthapuram alone. A similar number of reservations were made in other stations too.
Steps to be taken immediately
- Jan Shatabdi and Venad Express trains should continue service.
- Vanjinad Express should be scheduled to set out from Ernakulam at 6 am and return by 5.45 pm.
- Time and stops of the trains from Kozhikode, Palakkad and Shoranur stations to Ernakulam and vice versa should scheduled.
- Kannur Intercity Express also should conduct service.
- Train service should start from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram and vice versa during night hours.