More services to connect the delta with north Indian destinations sought

The opening of the new broad gauge line between Karur and Salem through Namakkal has prompted commuters and people to raise a slew of demands for trains and services in the sector that connects the delta with the rest of the nation in the shortest possible distance.

At present, there is good connectivity between Karur and Erode with trains from the Tiruchi and Madurai regions providing the Karur people with sufficient transportation support. However, the commuters are sore that only four trips of passenger services are operated on the Karur-Namakkal-Salem section all through the day. There is no night time connectivity now.

The commuters feel that introduction of more run through services, especially express trains in the day and at night will help the travelling public cut time and distance by avoiding a detour between Karur and Salem through Erode, the route now being used by a majority of trains.

This could be done taking into consideration the lead time allowed for advance bookings.

Basically, the commuters demand two things - more trains on Salem-Namakkal-Karur sector and more services to connect delta region with northern destinations through Karur and Namakkal. “We don’t demand that all trains be re-routed through Namakkal. Only that we need some existing trains through Namakkal and others can continue to ply via Erode. New train services announced such as Chennai-Salem-Palani express are slated to pass through Namakkal, but it is worthwhile to consider plying some existing services through the new track,” says S. Annadurai, president, Karur District Train Travellers Welfare Association.

Already there is a demand from the delta region for operating more trains to north Indian destinations through Tiruchi-Villupuram-Chennai Egmore main line. “We in Karur enjoy a better connectivity to north Indian destinations than our brethren in the Cauvery delta. Our demands, some are in common, could be met if the delta region was connected to long distance trains that go to Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Puducherry through Salem, Namakkal and Karur,” Mr. Annadurai adds.

The association also feels that a day-time passenger service to link Salem, Namakkal, Karur, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Nagappatinam districts would serve the cause of pilgrims from the Salem region, who now have to depend solely on the buses for undertaking pilgrimage to Thanjavur, Poondi, Vailankanni and Nagore. Salem and in fact Namakkal public would be better served in case the Railways obliged to the idea. We look up to the MPs from the region to take up our cause, Mr. Annadurai says.