THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The next time you head to the Pattom reservation ticket counter to book your train ticket, think again! Citing high expenditure and low-income generation, the railways have been forced to shut down the counter permanently. The reservation counter was closed on January 4 without prior information to the public.
"The railway used to receive only a monthly income of Rs 6 lakh from the Pattom counter while the total expenditure was above Rs 3 lakh, including rent and salary of the staff. Due to this loss in the collection, we decided to close it down. We have put up a notice at the building where the counter operated to inform the public," said Rajesh Chandran, senior divisional commercial manager.
The decision by the railways has put the general public in the lurch as most of them only learn about the shut-down once they arrive at the place to book their tickets. To avail the service, they have to travel to Thampanoor or book tickets at the Medical College reservation counter.
"On January 3, I booked the ticket from the Pattom counter. However, when I went their again on January 15, I was surprised to learn that it was closed. The railways have not informed the public. They should have at least informed the public via newspaper," said Manoj Kumar (name changed), a resident of Pattom who frequently visits the counter.
"During the second visit when the security informed that the counter was closed I thought it was on a temporary basis owing to technical issues. Even then, I was not given a heads up. It was only on my third visit, I learnt that the counter was permanently shut down," he said.
Meanwhile, railway officials said the public won't be affected as there are reservation counters located in close by. Also, since the railways online booking facility is already popular, the public won't face much hassles.