Crucial meeting with people’s representatives on December 27

The proposal to revive Ernakulam Railway Goods (ERG) station and turn it into a passenger terminus will be one of the key issues that will be discussed at a meeting on December 27, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said at Aluva on Thursday.

The meeting is being held to ensure the speedy construction of an overbridge proposed at Pachalam level crossing. People’s representatives from the Kochi Corporation and Railway are expected to attend.

Union Minister of State K.V. Thomas said in a memorandum submitted to Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge that Southern Railway must revive the ERG station so that it can become a hub of suburban and MEMU trains. In a press release, he said Ernakulam Junction and Town railway stations could not handle more trains because of paucity of space. “This shows the need for a third station in the city.”

The Minister’s statement comes in the backdrop of Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Misra’s comment that reviving the station was impossible because of technical issues. This had invited criticism from various quarters. Allegation was rife that moves were afoot to rope in private players who would end up siphoning 39 acres of prime government land.

A host of people’s representatives and NGOs had demanded that Mr. Thomas, who represents Ernakulam in the Parliament, and Hibi Eden, Ernakulam MLA, intervene in the matter so that the Railway sheds its ‘negative’ attitude. He demanded that Ernakulam Junction station be developed into a world-class station as promised in many Railway budgets. “The Railway must also begin a daily Duronto Express from the city to Bangalore, a daily Rajdhani service and daily train to Guwahati. More trains to Thiruvananthapuram from Ernakulam too are needed.”

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