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In Tiruvarur-Karaikudi section more rail services: demanding Rail users

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The reported rejection of the plea for regular and additional passenger services on Tiruvarur-Karaikudi section at the Southern Railway’s Divisional level officials has dampened the spirit of people in Tiruvarur and Thanjavur districts.

Rail users in Pattukottai, Adhiramapattinam, Muthupettai, Peravurani, Aranthangi and Tiruvarur have been demanding early introduction of passenger services on the Tiruvarur-Karaikudi section apart from resumption of long distance services that were withdrawn when the gauge conversion work was taken up 15 years ago.

The railway officials, at the Divisional Rail Users Consultative Committee meeting held at Tiruchi on July 30, while responding to the demand for launching new train services on the Tiruvarur-Karaikudi section, had reportedly said that a pair of DEMU passenger special was being operated now and there was no proposal to introduce new trains.

“Rail users in Tiruvarur-Karaikudi section are eagerly awaiting early resumption of passenger services on the newly-laid broad gauge line,” said president of Pattukottai Taluk Rail Passengers’ Welfare Association N. Jayaraman. In the absence of train services, people were forced to use the very few bus services to far-off places such as Chennai or take multiple short-distance buses, much to their discomfort.

So the rejection of the plea to operate more train services on this section was most disappointing and unacceptable.

The divisional railway authorities have to convince the headquarters to resume the regular services that were in operation before gauge conversion.

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New forum floated

A new forum – Karaikudi-Pattukottai-Tiruvarur BG Line Federation of Rail Users Association – had been formed to put forth the demands of rail users, Mr. Jayaraman said. Gatekeepers must be posted at level crossings to ensure smooth operation of the Tiruvarur-Karaikudi DEMU service with running time of three hours instead of the present seven hours. If the railways adopted a step-motherly attitude with respect to this section, the federation would resort to a legal route, he said.

Meanwhile, the Adirampattinam Rural Development Association has approached the Chief Operating Manager of Southern Railway in Chennai, seeking resumption of Chennai-Karaikudi/Rameswaram service. It has also suggested change in timings for the DEMU service so that passengers got a link to Mannai Express, Karaikal Express and Chennai Express at Tiruvarur.

Revising the departure timing from Tiruvarur to 5 a.m. and the return service from Karaikudi to 2.30 p.m. would benefit school and college students and office-goers, it said.

Thanjavur District Railway Users’ Association has raised its voice for additional services between Thanjavur and Tiruchi citing the fact that electrification of the 50 km track had almost been completed.

Leading a demonstration near Thanjavur Junction recently, Association secretary V. Jeevakumar demanded rail link to Thanjavur from Pattukottai and Ariyalur and also provisioning of basic facilities at Budalur and Alakudi railway stations on the Thanjavur-Tiruchi section apart from the demand for increase in number of daytime services between Thanjavur and Tiruchi.

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