If all goes well, the Emergency Quotas (EQ)of each and every train which passes via the Ernakulam Junction and Town stations will be released from Ernakulam itself in the future.
According to Ernakulam Area Manager P L Ashok Kumar, a proposal has been forwarded to the Senior Divisional Commercial Manager in this regard. The proposal will then be forwarded to the Chennai Headquarters for approval.
Once approved, a specified number of seats for each train can be allotted by EQ from the area Manager’s office from Ernakulam itself. Currently, even though EQs of a large number of trains passing through Ernakulam are issued from here, Not more than ten important trains have this facility. Passengers from Ernakulam who wish to avail of the Emergency Quota for the Kochuveli-Bangalore Express have to forward their requests to Thiruvananthapuram.
In quite a number of cases, the EQ is not released in their favour. P L Ashok Kumar said, “There are constant demands by passengers to introduce EQ system here from my office at Ernakulam. We have taken the request seriously and will press for the issue,” he added.
Even though the trains like the Kochuveli-Bangalore Express were started four years ago along with the fact that a major number of passengers board the train from Ernakulam, no action has been taken in this favour.
Apart from this Express train, the Kochuveli-Mumbai LTT Garib Rath, Kochuveli-Porbandar weekly express, Tirunelveli-Bilaspur superfast Express, Tirunelveli-Hapa Superfast Express, Kochuveli-Yesvantpur Garib Rath, Kochuveli-Bangalore Tri-weekly Express, Rajdhani Express, Kochuveli-Amritsar Superfast Express, Kochuveli-Hubli Weekly Superfast Express, Kochuveli-Bhavnagar, Kochuveli-Dehradun Weekly SF Express, Kanyakumari-Dibrugarh Vivek Express, Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai Weekly SF Express, Thiruvananthapuram-Mangalore Express, Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai SF Express and Amrita Express are the trains which don’t have the facility at Ernakulam.
All Kerala Passengers Association general secretary Mathew Paul said that the proposal is a welcome move. However, he demanded that the system should become more fair as well as transparent.”
Currently, the trend we see is that a lot of favour is given to the requests made by the MPs, MLAs etc. However, people with genuine needs are often neglected and this is a shame. The Railways should ensure a strict check on the EQs released by the Area Manager’s office,” he said.