Special Correspondent

Three trains available between Tiruchi and Madurai `inadequate'

TIRUCHI: The non-operation of adequate train services in the Tiruchi-Madurai section, one of the busy routes,has caused much resentment among the public in Tiruchi and other districts.

Though the railways introduced many new services, it is yet to cover this route with adequate trains, especially during daytime when the passenger movement is heavy.

At present, only three trains the Madurai-Chennai `Vaigai Express', the Mayiladuthurai-Tirunelveli passenger and the Chennai-Guruvayoor `Koodal Express' are operated in this section during daytime. The three trains are well patronised irrespective of the seasons.

Passengers particularly from Thanjavur and Tiruchi find it difficult to board the Mayiladuthurai-Tirunelveli train as it runs packed almost everyday.

The Union Minister of State for Railways, R. Velu, who checked this train at Tiruchi, was surprised to see heavy rush and ordered attachment of additional coaches.

Following the poor number of train services, both omni and the State Transport Corporation buses run jam-packed during daytime.

The travellers of Madurai and southern districts, who could not get accommodation in overnight trains to Chennai travel to Tiruchi by bus to board the Rockfort Express, the Coimbatore-Chennai Express or the Pallavan Express, which leaves in the morning.

The same is case in the return direction too as passengers bound for the southern districts travel up to Tiruchi from Chennai by Rockfort Express or Coimbatore Express and board buses from here to their respective destination, thanks to the omni buses that leaves to Madurai and down south from here in the morning hours.The general secretary of the Train Travellers Welfare Association, M. Lourduraj, said the non-plying of adequate trains in the Tiruchi-Madurai sector was causing much hardship to the senior citizens, women, the sick and tourists. This has been brought to the notice of the authorities many times, but no concrete step has been taken, he claims.

The public feel that the railways could introduce at least an early morning service from Tiruchi to Madurai for the passengers of the southern districts who arrive here from Chennai by some trains. Besides, it would be of help to students and office-goers employed in towns like Dindigul.