Mangalore, Sep 8, 2014: The eleventh passenger reservation system (PRS) service counter of Southern Railways Palghat division was inaugurated at the deputy commissioner’s office premises on July 3. To the disappointment of Mangaloreans it has been locked due to staff shortage. Palghat division had opened 10 PRS counters in its jurisdiction in Kerala. Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had inaugurated the centre.
Mangalore was the first city to have a PRS service counter in the state. The counters, which are being set up as per the Railway Budget allocation of 2009, serve as centres for railway passengers to reserve train tickets outside the railway station, thereby to avoid peak hour rush.
Palghat additional divisional railway manager, Mohan A Menon, during the inaugural had said that the Mangalore central station has earned revenue of Rs 2.40 crore by selling 5.10 lakh tickets during 2013-14. and the PRS counters will help in selling more tickets, thus increasing the revenue of the division.
The district administration had appointed a staff on temporary basis, but the person had quit after being selected as a village accountant. Since then, neither Railways nor the district administration made efforts to fill the vacancy at the PRS centre. before it closed about 10 days ago. The centre, which started functioning in two rooms within the premises of deputy commissioner’s office, was collecting an average of Rs 20,000 per day.
People, especially government officials were praising the efforts of Railways as it was a blessing for them. "The PRS centre should be opened immediately as it is very convenient for hundreds of government employees and others to book tickets. The centre will help railways to earn more profit too," said Shashikanth K, a regular commuter.
When news persons contacted DC AB Ibrahim he said that he will make arrangements to make the PRS counter functional. "We have decided to appoint physically-challenged persons at the PRS counter the appointment will be made soon," he said. Hopefully mangaloreans will not be disappointed for long.