Seeking to maximize rail facilities on the Mayiladuthurai-Villupuram broad-gauge line, the Bharatiya Janata Party has placed a slew of demands for perusal by the Southern Railway.

K.Rajendran, National Council Member, Bharatiya Janata Party, in a petition addressed to the Southern Railway General Manager, has called for the introduction of an overnight fast passenger train from Thanjavur to Chennai via Mayiladuthurai, with the following stoppages at Swamimalai, Kuttalam, Nidur, A.T.Puram, V.Kovil, Kollidam, Portonova, Nellikuppam and Panruti.

Alleging that there were no sufficient train services, Mr.Rajendran has stated that the Thanjavur- Chennai fast passenger(109-110) that was in service before gauge conversion be reintroduced in view of its overwhelming patronage.

The aforementioned stations had witnessed several crores expended on them, yet they remain ill-used due to insufficient services and lack of stoppages, Mr.Rajendran said. According to Mr.Rajendran, public patronage would still remain positive. The petition has also suggested that the railways fix express charges for the train service, as even those charges would be just under 33 percent of the present bus fare to Chennai.

A call has also been made for budgetary allocation for the restoration of the Tranquebar-Mayiladuthurai railway line at the earliest. Further, according to the petition, the bogies of the Villupuram-Mayiladuthurai passenger that stands idle for over eight hours from 8.45 a.m. to 5.30 p.m may be put to use for running another passenger service between Mayiladuthurai-Villupuram, to the benefit of Annamalai University students and office-goers.

The DEMU standing idle at Mayiladuthurai from 12.30 noon to 7.30 p.m can be extended to Villupuram. The party has also requested for induction of additional staff on claims of inadequate railway staff at Mayiladuthurai, and has additionally requisitioned for Tamil speakers at the reservation counter.

There were no toilet facilities on the first platform of Mayiladuthurai Junction. The petition has also sought for expanded parking facilities, as the existing parking sheds were constricted for space.

More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL