“DRUCC has come in handy for ECoR to legitimise its ‘unjust’ actions”

The Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (DRUCC) meeting of Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (ECoR) seems to have become a platform for the Railways to legitimise their ‘unjust’ actions and deny Visakhapatnam its rightful share, be it in the allocation of funds or augmentation of coaches, feels Praja Spandana president C.S. Rao.

While there is a huge waiting list (WL) in AC coaches in almost all trains originating from Visakhapatnam, priority is being given to trains from Bhubaneswar and Puri, with much lesser WL. It may be recalled that ECoR announced on April 10 this year, the augmentation of AC coaches on 14 pairs of trains. Barring the Visakhapatnam–Korba Express, which was given an additional 3-tier AC coach, the remaining coaches have been added to the trains originating from Odisha.

The DRUCC meet held on Wednesday instead of discussing the ‘injustice’, proposed augmentation of AC and sleeper coaches for Hirakhand Express of Khurda Division, which runs from Bhubaneswar to Jagdalpur.

“The current WL in 3rd AC for this train, in both directions as on Thursday, is less than 20 till May 21. Similarly, the current WL in 2nd AC in both directions is less than 12 for the next five days,” says A. Sanni Babu of Hyderabad, who has taken up the grievance to the notice of the Ministry of Railways on the public grievances portal.

On the contrary, 3rd AC coaches on Visakhapatnam – Nizamuddin Swarna Jayanthi and Samata Express, Visakhapatnam – Mumbai LTT (via Secunderabad), LTT weekly (via Nagpur), Visakhapatnam – Chennai weekly and Visakhapatnam – Nanded have huge current WL. Interestingly, most of these trains have less than 24 coaches and there is every possibility of adding more coaches.

Revenue loss

Mr. Sanni Babu laments that his grievance is actually forwarded to Khurda Division instead Waltair Division thus causing delay and loss of revenue to ECoR as huge WL is not being cleared. He wonders as to why a grievance issue pertaining to adding of coaches to trains originating in Visakhapatnam in Waltair Division should be sent to Khurda Division.

He feels that the main base of coaches is maintained at Puri/Bhubaneswar, about 400 km away from Visakhapatnam, which is coming in the way of augmentation of coaches to trains originating from Visakhapatnam. “The Divisional Railway Manager of Waltair has promised to take up the matter in the larger interest of public,” he says.

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