Lack of infrastructure facilities commensurate to the number of trains that is operating to and from various cities and the slow progress in the second phase development works of the Kochuveli railway terminal are posing undue hardship to commuters.
Although 28 long distance mail and express trains are operating on a weekly basis from the terminal, the operations are carried out using one pit line and one platform. The Railways have not been able to install a board at the terminal building or construct a boundary wall. There is also no designated parking area. Overgrown shrubs and trees and the ambience outside the terminal facing the Madhavapuram-NH 47 bypass resemble a wayside railway station.
A foot over bridge to link the old Kochuveli railway station and the newly constructed satellite terminal is yet to come up. Many commuters who arrive by autorickshaws and taxies by mistake get down in front of the old station and take a risk to walk through the track to reach the terminal.
The platforms do not have canopy to cover all the coaches and the lighting is woefully inadequate. Cloak room, information centre, adequate toilet facilities, telephone booths, book stall and refreshment stalls are yet to come up at the terminal. The public address system is not effective. There is no way for the public to contact the terminal to know the arrival and departure of trains as there is no telephone facility.
Lack of connectivity from the Central bus station and East Fort is another problem. Autorickshaw and taxi drivers fleece passengers coming to the terminal. Although the KSRTC commenced low floor bus services via the terminal after a lot of public pressure, it has almost been discontinued. Railway sources said the services are operated only on request. Re-routing KSRTC services that operate via Karikkakom, NH bypass, Perumathura and Veli tourist village through the terminal would have benefitted the commuters.
Likewise, the Railways had been requested to divert some of the long distance and inter-city trains that come to Thiruvananthapuram central via Kochuveli terminal. This will enable the commuters to easily proceed from here to the Technopark and Kazhakuttom side instead of getting down at Thampanoor and moving by road.