BENGALURU: Non-restoration of a train pair running between Yesvantpur and Hosur during peak morning and evening hours has hit commuters very hard.
Pre-COVID, they served as the commuting lifeline for software professionals, garment workers and medical professionals whose offices were located near stations enroute. With normalcy almost returning to the city in all spheres, the public is desperate for the trains to be back on tracks.
Bowing to repeated requests from train users, Bengaluru Division is positively considering their re-introduction. A section of affected commuters met Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Shyam Singh on Saturday to highlight their daily woes.
The Diesel Electric Multiple Unit from Yesvantpur to Hosur (Train No. 76523) and its pairing train from Hosur to Yesvantpur (Train No. 76524) would be jampacked before the pandemic. A MEMU train (Train No. 06262) introduced in April in their place from Hosur (only in the return direction) was abruptly cancelled from June 20.
The DEMU route ran thus: Hosur-Anekal-Heelalige-Carmelaram-Bellandur-Banaswadi-Hebbal-Lottigehalli-Yesvantpur.
A memorandum submitted to the DRM on June 24 said, "The trains were very useful for people living in Vidyaranyapura, Hebbal, Sahakarnagar, RT Nagar, Yelahanka, Banaswadi and work in Electronics City, Attibele, Bellandur, Bommasandra and Anekal."
Commuter Narendranath HS said, "Due to cancellation of these trains, the entire transport system which used to exist pre-COVID has been destroyed." Sanjeev, a regular commuter, said, "I personally spend Rs 700 per day to commute to work by car, and Attibele gate toll payment is calculated. It was Rs 10 one-way by train."
Jyoti Gowda, project coordinator at Wipro, says, "I spend 2.5 hrs on road at present, using buses or autos to reach office, and incur six times the expense. I used to reach Lottigehalli station by bike, take the train to Karmelaram and a bus to office. It cost me Rs 20, including train and bus earlier. The time saved was huge as the train just took 45 minutes."
Dr Rangarajan, who regularly used the train to reach Narayana Hrudyalaya, said, "The trains definitely need to be introduced. I know of many medical staff who relied heavily on it."
Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Administration, Bengaluru Division, Kusuma Prasad told The New Indian Express, "There are alternative trains the public can use. But if there is a strong demand for re-introduction of this train pair, we will consider starting them. There is congestion at Yesvantpur station and the trains had to make way for Express trains. We can consider shifting a pair of trains to Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal to accommodate the Hosur trains."