Mangaluru, Apr 06, 2017: People of this coastal area have again been dealt a big blow, losing the benefits of a train, Kudla Express, as Southern Railway has refused to take the train to Mangaluru Central citing lack of platforms and stabling yard and instead are set to operate it from Mangaluru Junction.
Train No 16575/16576 daily express as originally announced by the then Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, was to run between Bengaluru and Mangaluru Central. Southern Railway, under which Mangaluru falls, had then concurred to the timetable. Once the Bengauru-Hassan new line was commissioned, South Western Railway proposed to re-route it as a tri-weekly via the new line to drastically reduce the journey hours.
To South Western Railway’s proposal that the train can start at 10.50 a.m. from Mangaluru instead of the original 6.30 a.m., Southern Railway said that slots were not available at Mangaluru Central.
Disappointment : Residents of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi feel that Kudla Express operating from Mangaluru Junction is of no use. While Mangaluru Central is located in the city having public transport facilities, Mangaluru Junction is located far away without city bus facilities, and passengers are left at the mercy of unscrupulous autorickshaw operators.
Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel too had appealed to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to operate it from Mangaluru Central. West Coast Railway Yatri Abhivriddhi Sangha advisor Anil Hegde termed the decision as unfortunate saying that people would not benefit.
R.L. Dias, president of Udupi Railway Yatri Sangha, had filed a public interest litigation petition before the High Court of Karnataka, seeking early introduction of Kudla Express. The South Western Railway had promised the court to commence the services before March 31, 2017.
Slot and stabling yard : Southern Railway’s Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager Naresh Lalwani said that it is practically impossible to take Kudla Express at Mangaluru Central for lack of platforms and stabling yard (overnight parking facility) till the work on a new platform is completed.
Already schedules of existing trains are getting affected following intensive track and bridge maintenance works. Getting one more train to Mangaluru Central would severely affect timely running of trains.