The East Coast Railway (E.Co.R.) authorities had failed to keep their promise of re-routing the trains once the works were completed.
It took several representations, meetings, agitations and several months to get just one of the six trains diverted via Duvvada, re-routed through Visakhapatnam. It may be recalled that the diversion of trains via Duvvada started in 2006 to facilitate ‘non-interlocking’ works between Duvvada and Visakhapatnam junction. The East Coast Railway (E.Co.R.) authorities had failed to keep their promise of re-routing the trains once the works were completed. Subsequently, they had even justified the diversion of through trains via Duvvada, on the plea of saving running time. It was proved that it was not a valid reason as there was no saving in the running time. “The claim of the authorities of non-availability of platforms is also ‘baseless’ as three new platforms were added, taking the total number of platforms at Visakapatnam Junction to eight,” according to reliable sources.
Two of the five diverted trains, Howrah – Sri Satya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam (on Thursdays) and Santragachi – Tirupathi (Mondays), arrive at Duvvada 5.19 a.m. and leave at 5.20 a.m. Passengers from the city wonder why these trains should continue to be diverted through Duvvada when platforms are generally free during the early hours.Reaching Duvvada, around 30 km away from the city, is a nightmare for passengers. There are very few city buses that go up to the station and hiring an autorickshaw or a taxi is very expensive. Senior citizens, women, children, and those who have more luggage, may miss the train, if they fail to board it in a minute. Reaching the platforms is a tedious exercise as the passengers have to walk on a long ramp over the railway tracks. Some passengers, who tried to avoid the long walk over the ramp, were run over while crossing the tracks. Railway Minister Mukul Roy had feigned ignorance of the problems faced by Waltair Division when the Visakhapatnam Railway Zone Sadhana Samithi delegation met him in New Delhi, under the aegis of Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari, a couple of months ago. He was said to have told the delegation that no proposals were received from the East Coast Railway Headquarters regarding the issues raised which include: re-routing of the diverted trains and setting up of a Railway Recruitment Board.
He, however, responded ‘positively’ to the demands raised by the Samithi.