THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Kochuveli Railway Station, the satellite terminal of Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station, will soon lose its significance. Reason: The Union Railway Ministry has decided to develop Nemom station as the major terminal. Earlier, Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani had said that priority would be given only for the development of Nemom station.
Even the Railway division authorities echoed the chairman’s decision and decided to stop further development works at Kochuveli. Kochuveli station is a major hub for daily commuters working in Technopark, VSSC and the employees working in the Veli-Akkulam industrial belt.
According to the office bearers of All-Kerala Railway Passengers Association, the decision to stop the infrastructure development of the station would hit the allocation of more trains to the station and this would create a crisis for daily commuters.
“We are not against the development of Nemom station. Nemom station should be developed but it should not be at the cost of Kochuveli terminal. The authorities had started a station here a decade ago to decongest the Central Railway Station and to cater to the travel needs of many workers at Veli, Kazhakottam, Akkulam, Shangumugam area. After Central Station, the majority of passengers in the city rely on Kochuveli. Moreover, there is ample space here to develop it to international standards. So, we want the development of Kochveli station,” said Rajasekharan Nair, a regular passenger.
Currently, there are five platforms at Kochuveli -- three at the new terminus and two at the old station. A foot overbridge was also constructed recently. The 143-m long and three-metre wide foot overbridge was constructed at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, The station is presently operating 17 mail and express trains in a week.
The regular passengers also demanded a revamped signal system, two new platforms, prepaid taxi and autorickshaw counter and a pitline. They have also requested the authorities to allow more KSRTC buses to and from the station. The poor connectivity to the station from the city also makes the station an insignificant one, a passenger added.
Meanwhile, a top official of Railway Divisional Office confirmed that the Railway would not further the development of Kochveli as efforts have begun to upgrade the Nemom station.“There will not be any more development activities in terms of infrastructure at the station. All the works have been completed. In the engineering section, the works of a treatment plant have been completed. The plant will be used for cleaning the coaches of the trains. It will start operations soon. At the same time, a mobile application based pre-paid taxi counter will begin at the station so that the connectivity issues could be solved. At present, two KSRTC bus services are conducting service to and from the station. Efforts are also on to start a pre-paid autorickshaw unit with the support of state government”, the official said.