The Malayalee community living and around the city have expressed their gratitude to Railway Minister P.K. Bansal, Ministers from Kerala, people’s representatives of Visakhapatnam and Railway officials of Waltair Division for granting their long-pending demand for a direct train to Kollam.

Kairali Arts Club, Gajuwaka and Kerala Kala Samithi, Visakhapatnam, recalled their efforts made during the last several years to get better connectivity to their home state.

Kerala Kala Samithihas been demanding a direct train to Trivandrum on a regular basis and the hardships being faced by Kerala-bound passengers, from 1995 onwards, its president K. Ganesan told a media conference here on Wednesday.

While thanking the Railway authorities in Delhi, the present Divisional Railway Manager (Waltair) Anil Kumar and his predecessor N. Kashinath for their cooperation, he said that the proposals awaiting consideration from the railway authorities include increasing the frequency of train no. 12659/12660 Gurudev Express, Santragachi-Mangalore, Shalimar-Trivandrum Express and Patna-Ernakulam Express to thrice a week and a summer special from Visakhapatnam to Mangalore/Trivandrum during the summer holidays.

Samithi secretary T.J. Jose and its treasurer Ch. Mohandas were present at the media conference.

Kairali Arts Club president and Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee member N. Dhanapalan welcomed the decision on introduction of a direct train to Kollam and also on extension of the Guwahati-Ernakulam Express up to Trivandrum. He thanked the Railway Minister and his deputy for conceding the demand of thousands of Keralites residing in Visakhapatnam. He also thanked Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar.

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