Mangaluru, July 20,2017: The State may lose Mangaluru Railway Region, which is now being sought to be brought either under the Konkan Railway or the South Western Railway, as Kerala has made strong bid for formation of a railway zone.
Two major railway stations, Mangaluru Central and Mangaluru Junction of Mangaluru railway region, are now under the Palakkad Division of Southern Railway.
However, lines connecting Mangaluru to the rest of the State and Mumbai just after Mangaluru Junction fall under Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. (KRCL) towards Mumbai and South Western Railway, towards Hassan and Bengaluru.
People in the coastal region have been demanding that Mangaluru railway region be brought under either KRCL or South Western Railway for the overall development of rail infrastructure in the coastal region. Activists have alleged that people have to struggle to get train connectivity to other parts of the State because of Southern Railway’s “apathy”.
In fact, the High Court of Karnataka recently took cognisance of a public interest writ petition seeking including 24 km of railway line between Thokur and Mangaluru Junction under KRCL, as envisaged when KRCL was formed by Parliament.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran recently wrote letters to the Prime Minister and the Railway Minister seeking the formation of Peninsular Railway Zone headquartered at Ernakulam.
Mr. Sudhakaran, in his letter said, “The Peninsular Zone could have jurisdiction from Kanyakumari to Mangalore.”
The Ministers said that lobbying was in full swing to separate Thiruvanantha-puram-Tirunelveli and Nagercoil-Kanyakumari lines from the Thiruvananthapuram Division of Southern Railway and bring them under the Madurai Division of Southern Railway.
If it materialises, rail infrastructure development in Kerala would take a further hit, they said.
Just as the people of the coastal region cry injustice in infrastructure development and train connectivity, residents of Kanyakumari and Nagercoil region have been alleging step-motherly treatment at the hands of the Thiruvananthapuram Division.
Kanyakumari District Railway Users Association has said that many north-bound trains are run via Kerala forcing residents of south Tamil Nadu to travel an extra 200 km as the region is administered by Thiruvananthapuram Division.
Courtesy: The Hindu