Creating a major hassle for passengers, especially the womenfolk, the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train has been operating nearly an hour late on most days.
The passenger service had gained notoriety when 23-year old Soumya was dragged out of its women’s compartment and killed in 2011. Ever since the implementation of the revised timings in June, the train is once again becoming a nightmare to the women passengers as it reaches their destination only after 9.30 pm on most days.
“Earlier the timing was passenger-friendly. However, as per the new timings, the train is supposed to leave Ernakulam Junction by 6.05 pm and reach Edappally at 6.21 pm. However, on most days, the train reaches the station only at 6.45 pm. It is unnecessarily halted for more than five to ten minutes at Kalamassery, Aluva and Angamaly railway stations,” said Manikandan, a railway passenger.
According to the passengers, by the time the train reaches Shoranur railway station, it is well past 9.30 pm. “Many-a-time, women passengers are forced to sleep over night at their friends’ home.
Also, some of the women passengers complained that they are being subject to their family’s ire and concern. Women are forced to stand outside the Shoranur bus stand at odd hours of the night. If the railways does not address our concern seriously, we will be forced to resort to protests,” the commuters said.
The passengers cited that they have approached the railway authorities and forwarded memorandums to several people’s representatives. On Monday, the passengers held a meeting with Ernakulam Railways area manager P L Ashok Kumar.
When contacted, Ashok Kumar said that he would forward a request to Chennai seeking a change in timing. Since prominence is given to the Express trains such as Chennai Express, Kanyakumari-Bangalore Express and Janashatabdi Express which halt at these stations, the passenger trains are given clearance only after these trains depart, he said. He sought the passengers to bear the difficulty for another two weeks after which the issue is expected to be resolved.
The passengers also demanded that the railway authorities should ensure that the train leaves Ernakulam Junction at least 20 minutes early according to the revised timings of the Shoranur-Ernakulam Passenger service.