Authorities yet to respond to long-pending pleas from passengers
The long-pending plea of the people of Koyilandy to develop the railway station in their locality is yet to evoke any favourable response from Southern Railway authorities.
The station is used by nearly 3,000 passengers daily.
The foremost demand is for a reservation counter that functions round-the-clock.
Currently, the counter is manned by a ticket counter clerk. Staff shortage has cut short the reservation counter service to four hours.
In the absence of a full-fledged reservation counter, most of the long-distance passengers have to travel to Vadakara and Kozhikode stations for booking their tickets.
“Hundreds of passengers to North Indian States struggle from the lack of a reservation counter here. They have to travel a long way to make their reservations,” says P. Gangadharan, a native of Koyilandy. “Many a time, they lose the chance of reservation because of the delay in booking,” he says.
The shortage of staff is also a pressing issue, as the ticket counter clerk on duty is often compelled to jump from one seat to the other to attend to the long queue of people.
Another demand that is pending is the need for a footbridge.
Such a facility will greatly benefit passengers, including the physically challenged and senior citizens.
Stop for trains
Stops for long-distance trains, including the West Coast, Netravati, Yeswanthpur, and Chennai Special Super Fast, has come up as a separate demand.
As of now, people from Koyilandy are compelled to board the train from Kozhikode or Vadakara stations to reach distant locations.
According to Koyilandy MLA K. Dasan, the railway station caters to an estimated population of 1.24 lakh in the city and the suburbs of Koyilandy.
The station also serves people from the nearby panchayats including Chemanchery, Chengottukavu. Arikkulam, Keezhariyur, Moodadi, Ulliyeri, Balussery, Panangad, Naduvannur, Unnikulam, Payyoli, Thikkodi, and Thurayur.
Mr. Dasan, who recently submitted a memorandum to the Southern Railway authorities on the issue, says that there are more than 16 higher secondary and technical schools in the area, in addition to 17 other nationalised and scheduled banks. Taking all such aspects into consideration, development of the station is imperative, he says.
Farmers too will benefit from the development of the station, as hill products including rubber, ginger, pepper and other vegetables are being transported largely to the market in trains, he adds.