No water-filling and even secondary maintenance facilities, says forum

The Kanyakumari District Railway Users’ Association here has urged the Railway Minister to announce Kanyakumari railway station as a terminal in the forthcoming railway budget.

Its secretary P. Edward Jeni, in a memorandum to Union Minister for Railways Paswan Kumar Bansal, said that Kanyakumari railway station came under the jurisdiction of Thiruvananthapuram Division of the Southern Railway. The station became operational from 1979 with two platforms, when the Thiruvananthapuram-Nagercoil-Kanyakumari railway line was opened for traffic.

The southernmost station in the country, being a major tourist centre, was served by many long distance trains. Trains originating from Kanyakumari were being operated to far –off destinations such as Dibrugarh, Jammu Tawi, New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, besides Bangalore and Chennai.

Though the station was opened 34 years ago, infrastructure at the station has not been developed to meet the growing demand to accommodate more trains. The passengers’ amenities were also very poor, despite Kanyakumari receiving thousands of passengers daily from different part of the country and abroad.

Most of the 85 acres of land of the station remained unutilised. There was scope for augmenting infrastructure on this vacant land. Currently the station has three platforms and one stabling line. Though many long distance trains originated from Kanyakumari, water filling facility has not been established. Even secondary maintenance of coaches could not be carried out here.

So, these trains were taken to Nagercoil junction, situated 16 km away, and brought back after the works. “As such, the railways loses crores of rupees every year on account of shuttling the empty coaches from Kanyakumari station to Nagercoil and back.

This wasteful exercise also affects the interest of Nagercoil junction as the empty coaches brought from Kanyakumari station always occupy one or two stabling lines at Nagercoil station, which prevent the station from accommodating new trains.

The Association had brought this issue to the attention of the Railway Board and make arrangements for providing proper water filling facilities, and facility to undertake at least secondary maintenance of the coaches in Kanyakumari itself. Once the secondary maintenance facilities are made at the Kanyakumari station, originating trains could be serviced here itself. It would also help the Nagercoil station to receive more trains, said Mr. Jeni.