Connectivity to chain of temples en route Tamil heartland

The inauguration of the 17407/17408 Tirupati-Mannargudi tri-weekly express train here on Tuesday paved the way for direct connectivity of as many as half a dozen temples en route, which is believed to bring in more passengers on ‘Teertha Yatra’.

Departing here at 1040 hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, it reaches Mannargudi at 2235 hrs, stopping en route at Pakala, Chittoor, Katpadi, Vellore cantonment, Arni Road, Tiruvannamalai, Tirukkovilur, Villupuram, Cuddalore Port, Chidambaram, Sirkazhi, Mayiladudurai, Perlam, Thiruvarur and Nidamangalam. In the return direction, it leaves Mannargudi at 0530 hrs on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays to reach Tirupati at 1635 hrs the same day. Though the train takes twelve long hours for completing journey one way, officials say it could be brought down by an hour in due course of its run. The train with ample floral decorations chugged out of the station after the local Member of Parliament Chinta Mohan waved the green flag, in the presence of the Divisional Railway Manager (Guntakal) Tejpal Singh. Dr. Mohan stressed the government’s resolve to give a promising place to the pilgrim city of Tirupati, by announcing to upgrade the airport to international status and convert the railway station into a world class facility. While this is the first Tirupati-centric train announced in the present budget to be formally inaugurated, two more trains, viz., Tirupati-Karimnagar and Tirupati-Bhubaneshwar are set to hit the track soon, Mr. Singh told the media. Former MLA M. Venkatramana, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager Victor Babu and Sr.Liaison Officer P.R. Anantacharyulu and station manager B.Kurma Rao were among the participants.