BENGALURU: Bengaluru Railway Division’s move to shift the terminus of Ernakulam-bound trains from the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station to Banaswadi from January 4 has made reaching home after a train journey an untold misery for hundreds of passengers.
When this reporter and a photographer visited the Banaswadi station at 4 am on Tuesday to take stock of the situation, it was an eerie atmosphere all around. The only official spotted here was the station master in his cabin. A few auto drivers sleeping inside were around. A small group of do-gooders from the Kerala Samajam, a socio-cultural organisation working for the benefit of Malayalis in the city, were bearing the terrible chill and awaiting the arrival of the train on Platform no. 1.
Instead of the scheduled time of 4 am, the Bengaluru-Ernakulam Express reached only at 4.50 am. One woman passenger, shocked at the emptiness of the station summed it up aptly: “It feels like as if the train have dumped us in the middle of a forest and just left.”
With the waiting room too not opened till 7 am, passengers were literally spotted hanging around the railway station trying to kill time. The only tea stall, which began opening early since January 4, was crowded.
Railways has to revoke the decision: Kerala Samajam
Bengaluru: The Kerala Samajam has taken on the role that Railway staff are supposed to perform. Bearing the chill, a group has been visiting the station since Tuesday to guide passengers alighting at Banaswadi railway station from trains reaching the City from Ernakulam. Carrying a placard reading ‘Help desk’ a small team stood at Platform-1. C P Victor, Chairman of the East Zone of the group said, “When we came yesterday, there were over 160 nursing students who had to go to Jayangar, Peenya and Uttarahalli from here.
They were all waiting here upto 6 am so that they can leave the station after that. There were three patients who were unable to walk, so we brought along an ambulance today to help others in similar situations.” Reji Kumar, General Secretary of the Kerala Samajam, said, “This decision is totally unjustified. I am carrying out a signature campaign and will send the list to the Railway Board. The train should terminate at Yeshwantpur or go back to its terminating station of City railway station.” Passengers will suffer on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays when Ernakulam-bound trains arrive, he added.