It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. There are only seven local trains to cater to the needs of over 120 colonies with a population of more than one-and-a-half lakh. The lack of proper civic amenities and a viable public transportation system have forced people to believe that Malkajgiri is receiving step-motherly treatment.
There were more than 20 local trains plying between Secunderabad and Bolarum till July. After the new time-table came into effect, these services have been cut down to a mere seven, rues Noor, the General Secretary of Suburban Train and Bus Travellers Association. Because of this reduction, people are forced to use RTC buses or their private vehicles thereby increasing the burden on the already overburdened roads, he says.
However, the reduction of local train services has been gradual, Mr. Noor explains. “The main problem is that the diesel locomotives are being converted into electrical ones and are being diverted towards Falaknuma, though there are MMTS services running on that line. This practice is being taken up at the cost of connectivity between Malkajgiri and Secunderabad,” he says.
There is also a problem of lack of coordination between Hyderabad and Secunderabad divisions of the South Central Railway, he says. “Four of the seven local services are being diverted towards Kachiguda, from Malkajgiri, as they operate in the Hyderabad division. Most commuters from Malkajgiri go towards Secunderabad and because of this diversion, local services are of no use,” he explains.
The proposed MMTS Phase-II is hanging fire for long, and as and when it materialises, the metro rail station will only be at Mettuguda. While most other areas in the city have either MMTS facilities or can hope to get metro lines, the densely populated Malkajgiri is being left out, residents complain.
“Malkajgiri is a landlocked area surrounded by railway lines on all sides. Because of this, it makes sense to provide better connectivity through local trains,” a resident of Malkajgiri, P. Laxman, observes.