Thiruvananthapuram: The Railway has turned a blind eye to many demands raised by Kerala including new trains, extra stops and extension of services. Southern Railway General Manager Rahul Jain convened a meeting of MPs as directed by the Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal. The MPs informed in the meeting that though the MPs had given suggestions already, the railway responded with a reluctant attitude.
The railway has assured that four railway stations will be improved to international standards. Kollam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Ernakulam South stations are considered for this. A pit line will be set up in Palakkad. Two new trains are allowed to Rameshawaram from Ernakulam and Mangalore.
The railway said that a certain number of tickets should be issued from stations to allow stop for long-distance trains. But MP V. K. Sreekandan asked how it would be possible to issue tickets for trains that do not have stops at the stations. Binoy Viswam also said that he suspects a lobby functioning in railways to stop development of Palakkad-Thiruvananthapuram route.
The authorities made it clear that the railway board has not approved the survey for Nilambur-Nanjangud line. They also stated that allowing more trains for Kerala is not profitable and the extension of trains that ends service in Kochuveli to Thiruvananthapuram is not possible due to space limitations. Nemom second terminal project proposal is under consideration of the ministry.
No extra trains to Bengaluru
The demand to extend Dhanbad-Alappuzha, Pune-Ernakulam and Ajmer-Ernakulam Express to Kollam was rejected pointing out that there is no facility for maintenance of coaches there.
Considering the present situation of stations and railway tracks, no extra trains can be allowed to Bengaluru. At present, there are 30 trains from Kerala to Bengaluru and vice versa.
Though railway board approved Shoranur-Ernakulam third line, permission for a third line on Palakkad-Shoranur route is not granted. The delay in the work is caused because land is not acquired yet.
The demand for more coaches for Kochuveli-Nilambur Rajyarani Express and extending service to Thiruvananthapuram was rejected. Public protest resulted in the delay of Guruvayur-Thirunavaya line survey, they informed.
Demand to split TVM Division
MPs from Tamil Nadu demanded that Thiruvananthapuram division should be divided and the 160 km line from Nemom to Tirunelveli handed over to Madurai Division. Instead of this, Kollam-Punaloor line shall be handed over to Thiruvananthapuram Division. This demand is being raised for the past three years.