The Kanyakumari District Railway Users’ Association (KDRUA) has appealed to the railway minister and Southern Railway authorities to divert few long distance trains from and to Kanyakumari that now pass through Kerala and re-enter Coimbatore, to be run fully inside Tamil Nadu so that it benefits a large section of people in the southern districts.
Secretary of the association, P Edward Jeni said they have been giving representations to the minister and railway authorities for at least three years, whenever they received information that new trains would be plying from other parts of the country to Kanyakumari through Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam in Kerala. “But, we have not received a proper reply for our representations over the years,” he rued.
The association pointed out that Kanyakumari and nearby districts would benefit if more trains connecting other states ply through Tirunelveli and Madurai as it would help them get easier access to Chennai. “The route through Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam is 150km longer, and takes three to four hours more for passengers from Kanyakumari,” he said.
The KDRUA demanded that train no. 12659/60 Nagercoil – Shalimar Gurudev Weekly Express, train no. 22620/22619 Tirunelveli – Bilaspur Express and train no. 15905/15906 Kanyakumari – Dibrugarh Vivek Weekly Express should be diverted through Madurai and Tirunelveli. “Moreover, the Bilaspur train reaches Tirunelveli at a very inconvenient time,” he said.
Jeni said they have taken up the issue again as they came to know about a proposal to make the Bilaspur train as a bi-weekly. “Since the railways have turned a deaf ear to our pleas we are planning to move the high court the next time the railways announces long distance trains to Nagercoil, Kanyakumari or Tirunelveli through Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam via Coimbatore,” he said.