A.V. Ragunathan

Virtual downgrading of Thirupadiripuliyur station irks commuters

Former MLC writes to General Manager of Southern Railway

CUDDALORE: The introduction of train services on the newly laid Villupuram-Mayiladuthurai broad gauge sector has not brought cheer to commuters in Cuddalore.

The Madras-Madurai bi-weekly express and the Madras-Nagercoil daily express have scheduled halts at the Thirupadiripuliyur railway station, while other trains just pass through.

Residents of Cuddalore had put up with the inconvenience of cancellation of train services for years in the hope that after gauge conversion they would get improved services.

However, their expectations are belied because of the virtual downgrading of the Thirupadiripuliyur station by running only nominal services, thereby making them feel that at least the status quo prior to gauge conversion should be restored.

Reflecting such a view in a letter addressed to the General Manager of Southern Railway, former Member of Legislative Council L. Jeyachanthran, and former Rotary Governor, said that as per the new schedule, the Chennai-Tiruchi-Chennai express was not halting at Thirupadiripuliyur on either way.

Prestigious place

Besides being a commercial hub, Thirupadiripuliyur occupied a prestigious place in Cuddalore map, thanks to the presence of Padaleeswarar Temple and Sri Devanatha Swamy Temple in the vicinity.

Moreover, it was situated close to the Cuddalore main bus stand, thereby having the potential for a better road and rail network.

But these factors were overlooked while formulating the schedule, thereby disappointing traders, the elderly and students.

Mr. Jeyachanthran also noted that the proposed Bhubaneswar-Rameswaram express service would skip Thirupadiripuliyur, Cuddalore Old Town and Chidambaram.

It would be a cause of concern if the authorities ignored the entire Cuddalore district while introducing new services.

He urged the railway authorities to make arrangements for all trains passing through Cuddalore to halt at Thirupadiripuliyur station without fail.

The Federation of All Residents' Welfare Associations, Cuddalore, in a representation to the Chief Passenger Traffic Manager, Southern Railway, made a plea for making Thirupadiripuliyur a full-fledged station.

Federation general secretary M. Marudhavanan noted that the station was yet to get basic amenities, seating arrangements and a foot overbridge.

The number of general compartments had been reduced from seven to five, and the speed of trains restricted to 75 km as against 120 km recommended by the Safety Commissioner.