The 143rd meeting of the Divisional Railway Users' Consultative Committee of the Palakkad Division of Southern Railway being held here on Tuesday has raised hopes among the citizens who have been demanding various facilities for a long time now. Mangalore is part of the Palakkad division.

Being convened at the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the committee is expected to deliberate on the important demands of the region.

Besides attending the meeting, Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager S.K. Raina will also participate in an interactive session with members of the KCCI.

Among the major demands is the extension of train services to Karwar, which does not have a direct connectivity to Bangalore.

The railway commuter associations of the region have, through RTI applications, elicited the information that the recent extension of the Yeshwanthpur-Mangalore train to Kannur has found poor patronage.

They have demanded the train should be split in Mangalore and about 10 coaches should be sent to Karwar and the remaining to Kannur to ensure that people of the northern parts of Kerala and Uttara Kannada district get direct train to Bangalore.

A proposal in this regard has been sent by the Railway Board accordingly.

A vociferous demand for implementation of this proposal was expected to be made in the consultative committee meeting on Tuesday.

A major agitation against extension of the train to Kannur was dropped by the people of the region following the intervention of Mangalore MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, it may be noted.

The train users have demanded increase in the number of coaches in the Mangalore-Central Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Matsyagandha Express from 21 to 24 to cater to increasing traffic to Mumbai.

World class station

The people of the region had not witnessed any progress after the Railway Minister Mamta Bannerjee promised world class facilities at the Mangalore Central station a year-and-a-half ago. People hope the consultative meeting would throw some light on this proposal.

The other demands of the region include stoppage for weekly express trains such as Kochuveli-Amritsar and Kochuveli-Dehradun in Udupi, which has emerged as a major religious centre.

Official stoppage for trains passing through Mumbai at Vasai Road and facilities such as western closets in trains commuting between Mangalore and Bangalore for the benefit of senior citizens.

Railway Yatri Sanghas from Udupi, Puttur and West Coast Rail Yathri Development Committee comprising activists from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada had expressed the hope that the meeting, being held here after a long gap, will augur well for the region.

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