Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. and Southern Railway have recommended to the Railway Board to cancel Mangaluru Central-Madgaon-Mangaluru Central Intercity Express (22636/22635) in view of poor patronage.
Introduced about four years ago at the behest of the then Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP K. Jayaprakash Hegde, the train leaves Mangaluru Central at 8.15 a.m. to reach Madgaon at 2 p.m. In the return journey, the train leaves Madgaon at 4.15 p.m. to reach Mangaluru Central at 10 p.m. during the non-Monsoon period.
As per information provided by Southern Railway, Mangaluru Central-Madgaon service earned an average of ₹ 19,913.33 per day during 2016-17 with 40.09 % occupancy in reserved classes.
Occupancy and earnings through non-reserved classes are not available. Earning for the whole year was just ₹ 62,81,470 from the Mangaluru Central-Madgaon service.
Meanwhile, Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. is yet to furnish information on passenger patronage for the Madgaon-Mangaluru Central service.
While KRCL Managing Director Sanjay Gupta told that the decision of the board is awaited, Divisional Railway Manager of Southern Railway Palakkad Division Naresh Lalwani said that the Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee would take a call on KRCL’s proposal sent to it by the board.
President of Rail Prayanikara Hitharakshana Samithi, Kundapur, K. Somashekara Shetty said that the inter-city train’s poor patronage was because the train does not halt at many important stations. If its schedule is changed, patronage would improve, he said.
The train runs in between the Mangaluru Central-Madgaon-Mangaluru Central Passenger and the Bengaluru-Karwar-Bengaluru Express and hence attracts few passengers, said Anil Hegde, advisor to West Coast Rail Yatri Abhivriddhi Samithi, Mangaluru.
The samithi had, in fact, demanded a passenger train service leaving Madgaon early morning reaching Mangaluru Central in the afternoon and leaving Mangaluru Central in the afternoon reaching Madgaon during night, opposite to the existing Mangaluru Central-Madgaon service.
For some reason, an intercity leaving Mangaluru in the morning was introduced, he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jayaprakash Hegde said that he would discuss the issue with KRCL in detail soon.