Southern Railway, Salem Division, has announced that the special train services between Coimbatore and Mettupalayam for the two months (June and July) have been extended by one more month up to August 31.
There has been persistent demands for frequent train services between Coimbatore and Mettupalayam from various quarters citing that the narrow and battered stretch of Mettupalayam was proving to be accident prone. The road on either side accounts for a number of residential colonies, besides educational institutions and industries. There is a sizeable number of commuters travelling between these two destinations every day.
In June this year, three pairs of special trains were introduced for one month. Towards June end, the Mettupalayam public and political parties staged a demonstration demanding that the train services should be made permanent and should be operated on Sundays as well.
The Southern Railway immediately announced the extension of the train services till July. Towards July end, the public met the railway officials in Salem and demanded that the services be made permanent. They pointed out the number of people travelling and the revenue generated as a justification for making the train services a permanent one.
Railway officials pointed out that already a proposal in this connection had been forwarded to the headquarters and the final approval should come from the Railway Board. The parties and Mettupalayam Residents Welfare Association had announced that they would stage an agitation, if their plea was not conceded. Now, on Friday, the division has announced the extension of the trains till August 31. Three pairs of the special train services will run on all days except Sundays.