Railways could run a morning train from Karaikudi

Members of various consumer and service organisations have decided to observe a day-long fast in the city on March 10 to urge the Railway Minister not to extend the Chennai-Tiruchi-Chennai Pallavan Express to Karaikudi as announced in the Railway Budget. A unanimous decision was taken at an emergency meeting convened by the Federation of Consumer and Service Organisations here on Thursday.

The participants said many trains that originated from Tiruchi, including the Rockfort, Jan Shatabdhi and Tea Garden expresses, have been extended one after the other. The daytime superfast Pallavan Express was the latest to join the list, they said.

Instead of extending the Pallavan Express, the Railways could operate a new train from Karaikudi to Chennai in the morning hours keeping 6 a.m. as the time of departure, president of the federation M.Sekaran said adding that such a move would help people of Karaikudi.

If the existing departure time of the Pallavan express from Tiruchi were to remain unchanged even after extension, it would have to leave Karaikudi in the wee hours and this may prove inconvenient to those boarding from Karaikudi, he said.

The extension of the train could pose more problems to travellers from Tiruchi boarding the unreserved coaches, Mr.Sekaran said.

He said the federation would make an appeal to Finance Minister P.Chidambaram to prevail upon the Railway Ministry to drop the move and instead operate a new morning train from Karaikudi to Chennai.

A delegation of members of various consumers groups has planned to meet the Finance Minister in this regard, he added.

The federation would invite the two Members of Parliament and MLAs of Tiruchi for the proposed hunger fast. The federation members later submitted a memorandum at the office of the Divisional Railway Manager here in support of their demand.