Anyone coming to Davangere railway station to board the Bangalore bound Intercity must have experienced the heavy rush of passengers waiting to board.
Once train journeys were a happy occasion from Davangere to Bangalore, as the fare difference between KSRTC buses and trains was very large. The common man is affected by the fact that KSRTC fares have become almost five times that of trains. The bus fare from Davangere to Bangalore (265 km) Karnataka Sarige express is `275, Vaibhava bus -`325, Rajahamsa - around `400, Volvo bus- `495, whereas the fare on passenger trains is `55, express train -`95, intercity -`110 and Jan Shatabdi -`125 per person.
The exorbitant bus fares, traffic jams resulting in delays and risk of accidents have made people switch to trains that run between Davangere and Bangalore daily.
Getting into an intercity train that comes from Dharwad on its way to Bangalore is a tough task. “Many passengers travel daily from Davangere to Hosadurga and Arasikere to their offices. We normally have to stand for the entire journey and are lucky if we find a seat sometimes,” said a bank official who travels from Davangere to Hosadurga daily, by the inter-city. Ten years ago while commuting to Bangalore we had sufficient space and it was less crowded.
“Our children walked from one end of the compartment to the other freely, now we cannot even move an inch from the place we stand. It is even difficult to go and drink water or use the toilet,” said some passengers. According to railway authorities, more than 2,500 passengers travel daily to different destinations from Davangere. For the inter-city train it is more than 1,000 passengers daily. The maximum number of people travel by this train to Bangalore. On an average, the revenue earned here daily by the Railways is `1 crore from all sources. Around 22 trains ply daily from here towards both Bangalore and Hubli.
The Railway Passengers Welfare Committee had been demanding an inter-city train from Harihar to Bangalore that will leave at 5 am and reach by 10 am. “This year we expect a new inter-city train from the Centre,” said Welfare Committee president MSK Shastry.
With only two tracks to receive both passenger and goods trains, people are forced to wait for long periods. Despite all the shortfalls, people still travel by train.