Bangarpet could be the only stop in Karnataka for the train

The worst fears of local activists and commuters fighting for more direct trains to Bangalore, have come true with the new railway timetable — coming into force from Monday — stating that the proposed Bangalore-Mangalore train would run via Kerala and Tamil Nadu circumventing the home State.

The West Coast Rail Yathri Development Committee president Hanumanth Kamath and Udupi-based Rail Yathri Development Committee president R.L. Dias and Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had expressed apprehensions that the train would run via Kerala and not through Sakleshpur and Arasikere.

A week ago Mr. Kateel had written to the Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge urging him to ensure that the train ran via Arasikere.

The proposed Yesvantpur-Mangalore (weekly) Express (No. 16565/16566) will have stoppages at Bangarpet, Coimbatore, Salem, Palakkad, Shoranur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalassery, Kannur and Kasaragod. . The Palakkad Division of Southern Railway, in a press release issued on Friday said the date of introduction of the train would be notified later.

Short-lived joy

The activists, who had rejoiced when the announcement of the new train was made in the last Railway Budget, had expressed apprehension that the MPs from Kerala were trying to ensure it ran through that State. The activists had been urging MPs from the coastal region to pressure the Railway Ministry to avert it.

Mr. Kamath told The Hindu that this was an injustice done to Karnataka and the activists were planning a massive protest. He urged all political parties and people to support the agitation, the details of which would be announced later.

The weekly train, as per the new timetable effective July 1, will leave Yeshwanthpur on Sunday at 11.45 p.m. and reach Mangalore on Monday at 5.40 p.m. taking an excruciating 18 hours. On the return journey it will leave the same day at 8 p.m. and reach Yeshwanthpur at 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday. The bus journey takes about seven to nine hours between Mangalore and Bangalore while the trains running via Arasikere take about 12 hours.

The other new train to be introduced, as per the new timetable are Thiruvananthapuram-H. Nizamuddin (weekly) Superfast Express and Lokmanya Tilak-Kochuveli (biweekly) Superfast Express both of which will have a halt at Mangalore Junction; Madgaon-Mangalore Daily Super Fast Intercity Express (departing Mangalore at 8 .15 a.m. and reaching Madgaon at 2 p.m. and departing Madgaon at 4.15 p.m. and reaching here at 10 p.m.); Kacheguda-Mangalore (biweekly) Express. All these trains are yet to be introduced. The new timetable includes proposed extension of Train No.12654/12653 (Re numbered as 16858/16857) Mangalore Central – Tiruruchchirapalli (weekly) Express up to Puducherry and increase in the frequency of train Train No. 12217/12218 Kochuveli-Chandigarh Express from weekly to biweekly.

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