When S. Jebaraj, from a village in Arakkonam wanted to travel to Trivandrum for a friend’s wedding, he was confused between boarding the train at Central Railway Station and boarding it at Katpadi station.
The train that stops at Trivandrum does not halt at Arakkonam station. Like him, thousands of passengers have to travel a long distance to board trains to Mumbai, Mangalore and Trivandrum.
According to residents, Trivandrum Mail (12623/24), Chennai-Manglore Mail (12685/86), Chennai-Trivandrum weekly express (12697/98) do not stop at Arakkonam Railway Station. The Egmore-Mumbai (12164/63) stops during the onward journey, but does not halt while returning.
P.S. Mani, a retired railway employee and a resident of Paravathur village, around 25 kilometres from Arakkonam, said that many travel to Trivandrum, Mangalore and Mumbai from the town.
“If we have to travel to Mumbai we just have one train that stops at Arakkonam at 3.25 p.m. If we miss that, we either have to go to Renigunta or Egmore to board other trains. Those who want to travel to Trivandrum have to go to Chennai Central or Katpadi,” he said.
“I wrote to T.R. Balu, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on railways, but there has been no response. I also wrote to Arakkonam member of parliament S. Jagathrakshakan but even that has not borne any results,” Mr. Mani added.
Murali, a resident of Katpadi who has been fighting for commuters from Arakkonam, said that there is a need for a special train between Arakkonam and Chennai.
S. Ravi, member of legislative assembly, Arakkonam, said that he had written twice to the Railways and once to the Union government itself. “I personally approached the railway officials once and submitted a petition. But there has been no response till date,” he said.
Keywords: Train commuters