THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Facing pressure from various rail passengers’ groups, the minister in-charge of railways in the state, G Sudhakaran, has written a letter to union railway minister Piyush Goyal demanding more special trains for the state. He blamed the Centre for not allocating more trains to the state while being generous to other states.
In an apparent climbdown from his stand that states did not have any role in requesting for stops for trains, Sudhakaran on Wednesday took a U-turn and asked the railway minister for reinstating 36 stops for Janshatabdi, Ernakulam-Nizamuddin Express, Lokmanya Tilak Express.The railway officials said the train allocations were based on specific requests made by the states.
The Railways has reinstated several express, passenger and Memu services in the neighbouring states, as part of unlock 4. The stops are curtailed as part of railway’s policy to maximise profit The state had not taken any step for getting trains till the other day when the passengers pointed out travel woes. “We did not ask for additional trains. Are you sure other states received trains?,” Sudhakaran asked TNIE on September 14. The minister also demanded more trains to travel to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Alappuzha- Kannur intercity and Guruvayur - Thiruvananthapuram inter-city trains.
The Railways is running seven special trains, including Venad and two Janshatabdi trains, at present. Though it decided to cancel these trains on grounds of poor patronage, it differed the decision due to the intervention of the state government and MPs. A railway officer said the stops were reduced on the request of the state government.