The newly-introduced Chennai-Mangalore tri-weekly train will soon be made a daily service, Union Minister for Railways E. Ahamed said on Sunday.
Addressing the 'Aavani Poovarangu', the Onam celebrations of the Malayali community in Tamil Nadu organised by the Confederation of Tamil Nadu Malayali Associations (CTMA), Mr. Ahamed said the decision had already been taken and discussions with officials indicated that the daily service could be launched within a month.
The Railways had operated 10 special trains to Kerala from various southern cities, prominently from Chennai, during Onam to help Malayalis celebrate the festival with their families, he said.
Mr. Ahamed urged everyone to understand the pressures on the Railways, which carried 1.80 crore passengers and 20 lakh tones of cargo every day along 64,000 route kms throughout India.
Chief guest for the event Union Shipping Minister G. K. Vasan called upon Malayalis and Tamils to uphold their tradition of brotherhood. He urged the estimated 43 lakh Malayalis settled in Tamil Nadu to continue contributing to the State’s development and economy.
Kerala Education Minister M. A. Baby said his Government was examining various proposals to improve the welfare of Malayalis settled in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere.
The Minister presented the first CTMA literary prize for outstanding young writers to Malayalam author Subhash Chandran.
Various other prizes instituted by the CTMA were also distributed on the occasion.
CTMA chairman ‘Gokulam’ Gopalakrishnan and president M. Nanda Govind also spoke on the occasion.
The crowds that braved the rains to participate in the event were later treated to varied entertainment fare.