The techies of Technopark are a sad lot. Though Kazhakootam railway station, is only one kilometre from Technopark, they still have to depend on buses to reach their destinations since only a few trains halt here
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kazhakootam Railway Station is located barely one km from the Technopark. But the railway station does not ease the travel woes of the IT park employees since all trains don’t stop here. Though the techies have made several representations and submitted memorandums seeking halts for more trains at the railway station, nothing positive has happened.
V R Rahul, a senior software developer at a multi-national company has to travel 40 kilometres from Neyyattinkara to Technopark in a bus after paying a big amount as fare.
“If the trains originating from Kanyakumari towards the northern part of the state have a halt at Kazhakootam railway station then I can obtain a season ticket and arrive at my destination with ease while saving money too,” he said.
“Earlier, there used to be a 30 second halt for Jayanti Janata at the station. It was a boon for the techies hailing from the southern side of the district. The train used to reach the station before 9:30 am. However, the stop got withdrawn and now there are no trains stopping here during the peak hours. This has badly affected the techies who have to now travel by buses. Over 1,000 people commute daily from Nagercoil to Kazhakootam. These comprise techies and those who work at Kinfra, Video park, Apparel park, VSSC and many other institutions,” he said.
A hashtag campaign
Recently, Prathidhwani, a socio-cultural organisation of the employees of Technopark launched a hashtag campaign at Kazhakootam seeking train halts at the station. They even made a short film ‘Liberate Us’ highlighting the issue. Hundreds of passengers actively took part in the one month long campaign. They also submitted a memorandum to the Divisional Railway Manager Prakash Butani and Minister for Devaswom and Co-operation Kadakampally Surendran last month.
The employees have requested stops for trains Kanyakumari-Mumbai Cape Mumbai Express, 16315/16316 Kochuveli- Bengaluru Express, 16341/16342 Thiruvananthapuram-Guruvayur Intercity Express, 12624/12623 Thiruvananthapuram- Chennai-Chennai Mail, 12696/12695 Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai-Chennai Express, 12258/12257 Kochuveli-Yeshwanthpur Express, 16604/16603 Thiruvananthapuram-Mangaluru Maveli Express, 16302/16301 Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur Venad Express and 12076/12075 Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi Express.
Seeking a new name
They had also requested the authorities to rename Kazhakoottam station as ‘Technopark’. However, nothing has happened yet.
Speaking to ‘Express’, Rajeev Krishnan, secretary, Prathidwani, said that they called on the minister and local MLA Kadakampilly Surendran three months ago seeking a solution to this problem and he had assured to look into it.
“State government and Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division responded positively. The final approval has come from Southern Railway headquarters at Chennai. We are awaiting results,” Krishnan said.
He also pointed out that some trains have halts at the station are not serving the purpose. For instance, techies from Neyyattinkara and Nagercoil make the return journey from Kazhakootam in Parasuram Express and Madurai Passenger. But in the morning the situation is just the opposite. The same can be said about the northern side too. Only trains passing through Kottayam have halts here,” Krishnan added.
“The ball is in Railways HQ's court. Local MLA too had approached the Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu in this regard. Hopefully, everything will be resolved soon,” the official said.
plagues the station
Techies also complain about the lack of basic infrastructure at the railway station. There is a dearth of display boards on the platform. Season tickets too are not issued here.
“Utter confusion can be witnessed at the station when a train arrives,” said Abhilash V Nair, a techie.