Mangaluru: Railways dithering from reintroducing passenger trains

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)

Mangaluru, Jan 13: After unlock was introduced in a phased manner, the life in general is slowly limping back to normalcy. People however are protecting themselves in their own ways. However, the railways have not yet made up mind to reintroduce the passenger trains. Many who were dependent on trains to go to work now are compelled to spend a big chunk of their income for meeting travel expenses as express trains do not have general compartments.

For example, Sathish from Manjeshwar, works at a textile shop at Mangaluru for a monthly salary of Rs 8,300. Now he spends Rs 76 per day on to and fro bus fare alone. Barring weekly holidays, he spends about Rs 2,000 towards bus fare every month. For many like him, bus travel becomes exorbitant. In comparison, before the lockdown, he was able to travel between Manjeshwar and Mangaluru on the basis of Rs 100 per month train pass.

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Thousands of people from Kasargod district have taken up jobs in Mangaluru for meagre pay, on the assumption that passenger trains are available. Many from Puttur used to commute by Kabaka Puttur passenger train, and the train from Goa was mostly used by people coming for medical services. Students who travelled by such trains by monthly passes also face the heat.

Public relations officer of railway Palakkad division, Gopinathan, says that passenger train services can be expected to be resumed soon.

At the same time, DEMU trains from Bengaluru to nearby towns like Doddabllapur, Banaswadi etc have been operational. This has come as a boon for people working in city area. Poor and middle class people from the coast who are working at distant places are very much in need of trains, says Gautham Shetty, a railway activist from Kundapur. G K Bhat, another Mangaluru-based railway activist, echoes the same sentiments.






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