Members of the Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC), at the meeting held here on Friday, made a forceful plea for the introduction of an exclusive overnight train between Thanjavur and Chennai in the mainline section, to meet the heavy passenger traffic.

The diversion of Karaikal-Chennai express via Tiruvarur and Mayiladuthurai had badly hit the commuters of Thanjavur and Kumbakonam, they reckoned. A. Giri, vice president, Thanjavur District Rail Users Association, said that at present only 172 berths are available in the two overnight trains – Rameswaram-Chennai Express and Mannargudi-Chennai Express – for the commuters of Thanjavur and beyond on the mainline. S.Pushpavanam, secretary, Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu, T.Vellasamy Nadar, a senior traders’ federation leader of Thanjavur, A.P.Selvaraj and M.Ramakrishnan and other members also pleaded for a separate train from Thanjavur to Chennai.

Manjula Rangarajan, Divisional Railway Manager, who presided over , assured to take up the matter with the Southern Railway headquarters. She gave the same reply, when a few other members demanded the restoration of Rockfort express back to Tiruchi.

Mr.Pushpavanam and Mr.Giri referred to the recent directive of Railways that mandated reserved passengers to carry original ID proof and said that the passengers suffer the danger of missing their valuable original documents in travel. They suggested that the Railways could come forward to provide identity cards by collecting a special fee. In this connection, Mr.Pushpavanam said that the season ticket holders are provided with photo ID cards by the Railways.

The members also drew the attention of the officials on the lack of passenger train service on the Tiruchi-Villupuram section on the mainline. They pleaded for either a separate passenger train or a link to existing trains.

Ms.Rangarajan reiterated the division’s commitment to provide safe and prompt train service for commuters. S.A.Abdul Rahman, Additional Divisional Railway Manager, requested the cooperation of DRUCC members in creating awareness among public of problems created due to blocking of trains, squatting on tracks and pulling alarm chains . K.V.S.V.Prasad, senior divisional commercial manager, said the division has recently opened a Passenger Reservation System (PRS) at Villianur. The division has commissioned Integrated Unreserved Ticketing System (IUTS) counters at Koradacheri and Neyveli.