Railways' income jack up thanks to pilgrims visiting Velankanni, Tirupati

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Representative image | Photo: Mathrubhumi archives

Kochi: Heydays are back after two-year-long Covid-19 break, suggests initial trend of holiday season special commuter influx at the Ernakulam Railway station. The station is mopping a daily collection of around Rs 7 lakhs. Interestingly, in the corresponding pre-pandemic period, the income was at Rs 6 lakhs only. Conversion of second class unreserved coaches to reserved coaches amid pandemic is one among the various factors which have increased the income.

Reports suggest that pilgrims are the major contributors to Railways’ kitty. There is heavy rush of commuters to Velankanni and Tirupati. Until May 10 there is no seat availability in second class coaches of the train Karaikal Express from Ernakulam South Station to Velankanni. In a/c class there is full booking until May 17. While the trains to Tirupati have full bookings until May 6.

Pilgrims to Thanjavur, Nagore dargah are also perking up the revenues. Not just pilgrims but also tourists to various destinations and other commuters to locations like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai are contributing. The travel of guest workers (migrant workers) from north-east states is also brining revenue to the Railways on its Kerala stretch.

However, the influx of travellers has not reflected in the tourism sector of Kerala. The initial trend suggests there is no inflow of domestic and international tourists in the state compared to corresponding pre-pandemic period. It is noteworthy that government’s own Kerala Tourism has intensified its social media campaign to lure tourists.

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