The cancellation of six pairs of ‘passenger trains’ by the East Coast Railway, at a time when RTC buses have been cancelled due to the Samaikhyandhra agitation, is drawing flak not only from the public but also railway employees, who commute by these trains.
Thousands of passengers commute to the city and back from nearby places like Kothavalasa and Vizianagaram apart from those who travel regularly from places like Palasa and Rayagada by these trains, which run to full capacity even during normal times as they are convenient and offer a cheap mode of transport. The cancellation of RTC buses has increased the pressure on trains.
ECoR has either cancelled or short-terminated three pairs of passengers from Sunday to August 22 on the plea of taking up “Non Interlocking works between Kothavalasa and Kantakapalle.”
They are: 58526/58525 Visakhapatnam-Palasa-Visakhapatnam which has been totally cancelled, 58528/58527 Visakhapatnam-Raipur-Visakhapatnam has been cancelled between Visakhapatnam and Titlagarh and 58638/58537 Visakhapatnam-Koraput-Visakhapatnam has been cancelled between Visakhpatnam and Rayagada.
Three more pairs of passenger trains – 1 VK Visakhapatnam-Kirandul, Visakhapatnam-Vizianagaram shuttle and Visakhapatnam-Palasa – have been cancelled from Monday.
The ECoR officials seem to be ignorant of the needs of passengers in the region. Further, they seem to have been emboldened by the lack of opposition from DRUCC, ZRUCC members, MLAs and MPs from the region.
“The ECoR officials would not have dared to cancel passenger trains in Odisha. Non-interlocking works were done in the past also but passenger trains were not cancelled. The trains would, no doubt, be delayed but passengers would at least reach their place of work or homes,” he said.