THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It looks like the 15-year old demand for more number of train stoppages at Chirayinkeezhu railway station, located in Attingal constituency, have fallen on deaf ears. Though the station is the second most populous one between Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, passengers are being forced to make do with very less number of train stoppages for several years. Currently, the station only has stoppages for 22 trains including 14 Express and eight Passenger trains.
Commuters say though they have been addressing the issue of their struggle for many years, their pleas are being ignored. “The last stop was given to Vanchinad Express in 2004 and that too only on a temporary basis. This was achieved only after constant hunger strikes and blocking of trains. This total apathy points to the lackadaisical attitude of the MP in the constituency,” said Priya (name changed), a passenger of Chirayinkeezhu station.
The Chirayinkeezhu (CRY) railway station falls under the NSG-5 category of the Indian Railways similar to the Paravur station (PVU) in Kollam. CRYs an annual passenger turnout is 11,33,424 and annual earning is `1,54,19,697 while in PVU, the passenger turnout is 10,73,732. The annual earning at this station is `1,47,35,937. However, in comparison, despite having more number of passengers and earnings, CRY has eight stoppages less than PVU. “The station receives a high earning per day which is around ` 40,000. The commuters’ demand is genuine,” said a railway officer.
The Chirayinkeezhu railway station is the nearest station from Attingal town (6.5 Km). However, due to a few train stoppages, commuters are forced to travel up to Varkala station. Moreover, the season tickets from Chiryankeezhu station is being delivered as Varkala-Thiruvananthapuram. “Even though the charges are the same, the annual station collection makes a huge difference, “said Chiryankeezhu Railway Association secretary Madanakumar.
He said the most affected are long-distance travellers. “The first train which halts at the station in the morning is at 5.15 am followed by another which only arrives at 8.30 am. We are demanding stoppages for Parasuram Express and Punalur-Kanyakumari Passenger train,” said Madanakumar.BJP candidate for Attingal Shobha Surendran said the railway issues will be given more focus. “I have promised to resolve railway issues withing three months of coming to power,” said Shobha.