Tirur’s economy loses track as COVID-19 halts train services
Tirur: The wheels of Tirur’s economy have slowed off as the coronavirus pandemic brought 19 out of the 25 trains, which used to cross the city packed with passengers, to a standstill. In all, Tirur has lost 40 trains including the weekly ones.
Now, only six trains stop at Tirur - The Netravati Express, two Jan Shatabdi Express, Yesvantpur–Kannur Express, Chennai Central Mail and Mangala Lakshadweep Express. The lives of so many people revolve around Tirur railway station and its fully packed trains. But ever since the lockdown, their lives have not been the same as the number of trains and passengers have come down drastically.
Three shops right in front of the railway station are yet to open. Other shops nearby, which used to see business worth around Rs 10,000 per day, are getting between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. The auto rickshaw stand at the railway station is now deserted. Auto drivers, who used to earn around Rs 1,200 per day are struggling to earn Rs 500.
The railway porters are also struggling to make ends meet. Six tea stalls inside the platform, including a food plaza, have been closed. The air conditioned waiting room for passengers, which was operated by Kudumbashree is also temporarily closed.
Hundreds of small scale traders and street vendors, who used to bring clothes and other items to Tirur on trains for sale, have lost their business as well. Thousands of people used to visit Tirur’s gulf market on a daily basis.
Moreover, the trade of betel leaves through trains came to a grinding halt during the pandemic but was restored as the Chennai mail resumed service. Even the vagabonds, who depended on Tirur railway station, are struggling to make ends meet. The private agencies who sold railway tickets and lodges near the railway station are also in peril.
They all hope that once the pandemic subsides and the train services resume, Tirur’s good old days will also come back.