MPs can insist on operation via city of some trains whose routes are not specified

Here is one more chance for our MPs to prove their commitment to people of the constituency.

Notwithstanding the raw deal given to the Waltair Division in the recent Railway Budget, the Railway Minister has left some loose ends in announcing some trains. The routes of a few of these trains have not been specified and our MPs can insist on their operation via Visakhapatnam.

The route of the Yeshwantpur – Lucknow weekly Express has been announced in the budget as via Rae Bareli and Pratapgarh. Already four weekly trains are connected from Lucknow to Yeshwantpur on a different and longer route. If it is operated via Visakhapatnam, people of the region can get a direct train to Lucknow, which would also fulfil the demand for a direct train to Varanasi besides reducing the distance between the two cities.

The Puri – Ajmer Express via Abu Road can be run via Vizag. It will provide direct connectivity to Muslims of the region who wish to go on a pilgrimage to the famous Dargah located at Ajmer. Our MPs can also insist on operation of the Howrah-Chennai AC bi-weekly, which was announced as ‘via Duvvada’ in the budget, via Visakhapatnam. This is because the Railway authorities had categorically stated in the past that no new trains would be diverted via Duvvada.

They can also seek operation of the newly announced Patliputra – Bangalore weekly via Chekkoi to be run via Vizag. The Visakhapatnam – LTT (Lokmanya Tilak Terminus), which was made into a daily, goes via Bhimavaram, which makes it a longer route. It could be run on the mainline via Eluru and Guntur. The Mumbai – Kakinada bi-weekly, announced in this budget, could be run via Bhimavaram.

The Railway Minister has finalised the list of trains and announced them in the budget. The Time Table Committee will meet in Delhi in the last week of April and decide on the timings, route, and days of operation of the announced trains. The new time table would come into effect from July 1.

Better late than never, if our people’s representatives are loyal to their electors they have to act fast and take up these issues with the Railway Board.

If appropriate action is not taken now, the powers that be in East Coast Railway headquarters in Bhubaneswar can once again show their bias in the selection of route, days of operation to the detriment of Waltair Division and Visakhapatnam, feels Railway Zone Saadhana Samithi convener J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy.

The Visakhapatnam – Chennai Express, being run at the most inconvenient timings and days of operation, is a classic example.

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