Moves afoot to cancel Visakhapatnam-Digha weekly express

East Coast Railway is said to be toying with the idea of cancelling Visakhapatnam – Digha Weekly Express on the plea of lack of patronage. The ECoR authorities wrote to a ZRUCC (Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee) member in Visakhapatnam for his comments on the proposal and also on cancellation of two other pairs of trains between Puri and Digha, which were also having poor patronage.

Praja Spandana president C.S. Rao attributes the ‘step-motherly’ attitude of the ECoR to the indifference of our public representatives. A study of the status of berths booked on these trains shows that Visakhapatnam – Digha has around 90 per cent occupancy right at the originating station whereas the other two pairs of trains have 20 per cent or less occupancy. There is no justification in the placing these trains on the same plank. In another instance of bias, the ECoR authorities instead of cancelling the Puri – Howrah Duronto Express, which had poor patronage, upgraded and converted it into Shatabdi Express with more stops and higher fare. The decision was taken even before the Railway Budget. In contrast, the Visakhapatnam – Koraput, which was announced as ‘five times a week’ in the budget, was reduced to twice a week.

The Visakhapatnam – Nanded Express is, perhaps, the only ‘special train’ to have the dubious distinction of being run as a ‘special’ for the longest period for the last five years. ECoR had proposed to run this train thrice a week, it was announced on its official website in 2007. This train, which was originally from Visakhapatnam to Nizamabad, was extended to Nanded.

Railway Zone Sadhana Samiti convener J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy feels that the situation is because our State lacks the ‘lobbying power’ in Delhi and at the Railway Board. “ECoR is running a number of trains with poor patronage only because they originate in Puri and Bhubaneswar.

Visakhapatnam is not being given due importance though Waltair Division earns more than half of the total revenue of the zone. De-linking Waltair Division from E CoR is the only solution to end the injustice,” he feels.

  • ECoR upgraded Puri-Howrah Duronto Express despite poor patronage

  • Railway zone Sadhana Samiti seeks delinking of Waltair division from ECoR