The waiting period for someone like Sujata who stood in a queue for over 40 minutes at the Mangalore Central Railway Station is likely to be reduced further with the Southern Railway's plans to open the third Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Seva (JTBS) counter at the station.

Already, the two JTBS counters operating near the railway station are doing well, according to railway officials. However, the length of the queues inside the station building still appears to be a permanent feature.

Ms. Sujata, a resident of the Alake area, told The Hindu that she travelled to Bangalore frequently and had to wait endlessly in queues to buy an unreserved ticket, and that of course, it was “troublesome”.

The problems of passengers to various places in Kerala are different. There being a number of trains to Kerala, including those heading to Chennai, people who miss one train because of long queues often have to wait for two hours for the next train, said Chandrasekaran, a police constable on duty at the railway station. Because of the difference in prices of tickets of bus journeys and train journeys, commuters prefer to wait for the next train, he added. For instance, a bus ticket to Kasaragod is over Rs. 30 whereas a train ticket is Rs. 8. Other railway employees added that on Saturdays the station was even more crowded. Shreya, a student of class 5, said she and her mother stood in one queue while her father tried his luck in another. At 2.30 p.m., the pair was still some distance away from the ticket window even as their train was set to leave in 0 minutes. Fortunately for them, Shreya's father was much closer to the ticket counter. S.K. Raina, Divisional Railway Manager of Palakkad Division, Southern Railway, confirmed to The Hindu that one more JTBS counter had been sanctioned. It was proposed to be set up near the railway station itself, judging by the response to the two existing counters.

He said the feasibility of a counter near the rear entrance to the railway station was being considered at present. The two JTBS counters set up around six months ago sold 1,000 tickets each day, he said.

More In: Mangaluru