Thanjavur District Rail Users’ Association has urged the Railway Minister, Sadananda Gowda, to sanction a new railway line between Kumbakonam and Vriddachalam in the railway budget.
In a pre-budget memorandum forwarded to the Minister, A.Giri, vice-president of the association, also demanded a new Thanjavur-Mumbai CST express via Kumbakonam to facilitate the devotees of Raghavendra Swami to reach Mantralayam easily. The suggested train will connect Kumbakonam – the samathi of Ragavendra Swamiji’s guru Vijayendirarswamy, Chidambaram – the birthplace of Ragavendra Swami (Bhuvanagiri), and Manthralayam – Swami’s samathi.
The association also requested the Minister to extend the Dibrugarh-Chennai Egmore and Guwahati-Chennai Egmore weekly expresses, and Kolhapur-Bangalore City Rani Chennamma express trains up to Kumbakonam.
Converting the Rameswaram-Varanasi weekly express, Rameswaram -Tirupathi tri-weekly express, and Puducherry-Kanniyakumari weekly express, to daily services formed part of the demand.
In order to ease the coach maintenance problem for the proposed Jodhpur-Mannargudi express, the association suggested operating the train between Tiruchi and Jodhpur via main line, using the idle racks of Tiruchi-Howrah express, until the setting up of facility at Mannargudi.
Considering the growing demand, Mr.Giri requested the Minister to provide entire funds required for the Ponmalai-Thanjavur doubling project to ensure its early completion.
It also demanded diversion of Tiruchi-Howrah biweekly express via main line once in a week and Puducherry-Mangalore Central weekly express via Kumbakonam and Thanjavur.
Operation of more trains via main line will benefit passengers of Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai, Sirkazhi, Chidambaram, and Cuddalore. The association suggested immediate establishment of a coach terminal at Kumbakonam.
This will facilitate extension of more long-distance trains from both north and southern side up to Kumbakonam.