COIMBATORE: As Coimbatore chokes in heavy traffic, the Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC), Members of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore (RAAC) have requested Railways to operate a circular train connecting several parts of the city.
According to J Sathish, a member of the Infrastructure Committee of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, "The Railways can use the existing line to operate the circular service. We have proposed Irugur, SIHS Colony, near the Airport Runway, Tidel park (Hopes College), Peelamedu, Avarampalayam, Ganapathy, North Coimbatore (Gandhipuram), Railway station (Town Hall), Podanur, Nanjundapuram, Singanallur and Ondipudur. These routes will also act as connecting points to the Metro stations once completed. We have convened a meeting with the MP's PR Natarajan (Coimbatore), K Shanmugasundaram Pollachi and A Raja of Nilgiris to take the issue to the railway board," he said.
R Raveendran, Secretary of Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore, said private players should be allowed to make use of the infrastructure if Railways is unable to do it. According to DRUCC member P Rajendran, "The Salem Railway division had proposed to operate the circular train in 2015. At least now, Railways should consider introducing it. We can add more stops and operate the service up to Mettupalayam. This will reduce congestion on road. The circular service will help travellers reach destinations faster especially with the ongoing flyover works at Kavundampalayam and Periyanaickenpalayam to Mettupalayam road."
Rajendran told TNIE that the proposal remains only on paper as DRM changed and there was no follow-up by succeeding officers.
M Jameel Ahamed, Chairman of Coimbatore Train Users Welfare Association, said "Circular train service is the only alternative to decongest roads."
Coimbatore MP PR Natarajan said, "I have planned to call a meeting of Southern Railway GM and Salem Railway Division DRM on December 27 in Coimbatore where they will propose and submit a report to the railway board on the issue." Salem DRM AG Srinivas told TNIE that they do not have plans to operate the circular train for now.