R. Jagadeeswara Rao

It will be a boon to the people of North Andhra

The fare is just Rs.499 for Secunderabad from VisakhapatnamThe travelling time is also less by an hour

VISAKHAPATNAM: Here is good news for the railway commuters, especially commuters who travel by the fully air-conditioned Garib Rath. It will be a daily train from Thursday. A justified demand, voiced by people in these parts since a long time, it would be a boon to the people in these parts. In fact it was in the last Budget session that introduction of Garib Rath between Visakhapatnam and Secunderabad was announced with a promise to make it a daily train. It was the most popular train with 15 fully air-conditioned compartments and as many as 1,178 berths.

The charge is just Rs.499 between Visakhapatnam and Secunderabad, as against Rs.775 for the 3-tier air-conditioned travel in other trains and nearly Rs.850 by bus. The travelling time, covering a distance of nearly 700 km between Visakhapatnam and Secunderabad, is also less by an hour when compared to other trains.

Chequered history

It has a chequered history. Because of some technical reasons like lack of clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety, to cover East Coast Railway region, initially it was proposed to run between Secunderabad and Duvvada railway station, (about just 20 km from Visakhapatnam railway station) which formed part of South Central Railway. There was a hue and cry and the journey was extended up to Visakhapatnam.

It may be recalled here that even though it was a popular train, initially it was run on six days a week, three trips each from Visakhapatnam and Secunderabad on alternate days.

Then it was run on four days from each side. Again it was run as a special train from January 12 to clear festival traffic and even this was discontinued on January 31, again creating some apprehensions in the minds of commuters. But now it was decided to make it a daily train, officials of the ECoR confirmed here on Wednesday.