Rail users in Papanasam in Thanjavur district have made a fervent plea to Southern Railway to provide stoppages for Tambaram–Nagercoil-Tambaram Antyodaya Express and Rameswaram– Chennai Express at Papanasam station.They have also made a case for further improvements of basic facilities at the railway station taking into account its yearly passenger earnings and in the interest of the travellers.
Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee member T. Saravanan and Thanjavur District Rail Users Association advisor A. Giri met Southern Railway Additional General Manager in Chennai recently and presented separate representations containing the demands. Papanasam is one of the well-patronised stations under Tiruchi Railway Division generating considerable revenue with its average monthly income being ₹ 11-12 lakh. With important temples located in its proximity, Papanasam attracts devotees from across the country, Mr. Saravanan said.The railway station also serves residents of several villages nearby.
At present, eight express trains, including Chennai–Tiruchendur–Chennai Chendur, Tiruchi– Chennai–Tiruchi Cholan, Mysore- Mayiladuthurai-Mysore Janshatabdhi, Chennai – Thanjavur – Chennai Uzhavan and Rameswaram – Tirupati – Rameswaram expresses besides five passenger trains, stop at Papanasam. Since Mannargudi – Chennai Mannai Express has been diverted to run via Tiruvarur and Mayiladuthurai in the last one-and-half years, there is no other night train from Papanasam to Chennai except Uzhavan Express from Thanjavur. Passengers from Papanasam are unable to get confirmed ticket in Uzhavan Express since the waiting list exceeds 100 most of the time.
In order to compensate for this, Southern Railway can provide one minute stoppage at Papanasam for Tambaram– Nagercoil – Tambaram Antyodaya and Rameswaram–Chennai–Rameswaram Express trains considering the importance of the town, which is a taluk headquarter and an Assembly segment, Mr. Saravanan pointed out. Although the station has a high-level lengthy platform to accommodate 24 coaches, it lacks big shelters.
The railway station also lacks digital coach indication board despite being sanctioned well before 2016 Mahamaham festival in Kumbakonam, he said. The association has also requested Southern Railway to upgrade Papanasam as a block station during the survey sanctioned for doubling the mainline section from Villupuram to Thanjavur. It has also pleaded for operation of a special train from Chennai to Sengottai on the mainline section via Kumbakonam and Thanjavur for the benefit of devotees going to Sabarimala.
(source : The Hindu)