Footfall is on the rise at these stations but railway authorities don’t seem to be in a hurry to increase passenger amenities
Fund crunch seems to have derailed the development works of Tripunithura Railway Station.
Both the railways and the Tripunithura municipality have clutched their purses tightly and are reluctant to spend for the infrastructure work around the station.
The high-level team from the railways, including the divisional railway manager, had recently visited the station to inspect it.
A mud-filled soggy approach road, which was widened recently, takes commuters to the station. It badly needs black-topping. The railways is willing allow the municipality to take up the work. But the local body isn’t game for it.
Municipal chairman R. Venugopal told The Hindu the road tarring would burden them with over Rs. 30 lakh. “It is difficult to take up the project now. We had asked the railways to give us sanction earlier when the road was small. But they didn’t allow us”.
Inside the station, the platform roofing isn’t long enough to cover a train’s tail, and the foot-overbridge is roofless. A senior railway official said the demand for roof would be considered.
And if you are looking for a loo, you might find four – but all under lock and key. And if you can’t hold it, get hold of a railway staff at the station to unlock the loo.
The Tripunithura Rajanagari Union of Residents' Associations has been asking for a pay-and-use toilet at the station. They also want the reservation counter time extended from 5.30 p.m. to 8 p.m., potable water facility, a canteen and more ticket counters.
Only three express trains — Venad Express, Chennai Mail and Korba Express (twice a week) — stop at Tripunithura during their up-and-down journey. Mumbai-Kanyakumari Express stops only during its down south journey and Malabar Express stops during the journey up north.
The residents’ association said it made sense to develop the Tripunithura station with more stops for express trains as it would save time for people in the Eastern belt. It would also help if the Ernakulam-Guruvayur passenger is extended to originate from Tripunithura as it would connect two major pilgrim centres — Guruvayur and Chottanikkara. The station’s potential with two platforms to accommodate 24 coaches remains underutilised, according to the association.