Travelling public lament neglect of Papanasam railway station

The persistent plea for revival of stoppages of two express trains at Papanasam railway station following restoration of normal services in the post-pandemic phase is yet to elicit the intended response from the Railway authorities.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the railway station located 15 km from the Kumbakonam railway station, was, according to Southern Railway, “adequately” served by seven pairs of express and five pairs of passenger trains, said T. Saravanan, secretary, Train Passengers’ Association, Papanasam.

The Chennai Egmore – Tiruchirappalli – Chennai Egmore Cholan Express (16795/16796), the Chennai Egmore – Thanjavur – Chennai Egmore Uzhavan Express (16865/16866), the Chennai Egmore – Tiruchendur – Chennai Egmore Chendur Express (16105/16106), the Mayiladuthurai – Mysuru – Mayildauthurai Express (16231/16232), the Mayiladuthurai – Coimbatore – Mayiladuthurai Jan Shatabdi (12083/12084), the Rameshwaram – Tirupati – Rameshwaram Tri-weekly Express (16779/16780) and Mayiladuthurai – Tiruchirappalli – Mayiladuthurai Express (16233/16234) were the seven express trains that were operated through and with stoppages at Papanasam Railway Station prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.

However, much to the agony of the Papanasam rail commuters, the stoppages for the Chendur Express (16105/16106) and the Mysuru-Mayiladuthurai Express (16231/16232) at Papanasam were withdrawn when the passenger train services were restored in a phased manner.

Several representations were made to the Indian Railways through the Southern Railway and as well as the elected Members to both the Houses of Parliament seeking the restoration of the stoppages for these two trains at Papanasam railway station where, as per the data provided by the Railways, an income of around Rs.1.50 crore through passenger ticket sales during the financial year preceding the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak was recorded, he added.

Further, the withdrawal of stoppages for Chendur and the Mysuru-Mayiladuthurai Expresses had removed the possibility for a one-day planned business trip to Chennai for the businessmen at Papanasam and the advantage of a return trip link to Tiruchirappalli for the businessmen and as well as other categories of passengers hailing from Tiruchirappalli, the regional business hub, in the evenings, he pointed out.

While the official sources claimed that the decision to revive the stoppage rested with the Railway Board, the MPs from this region gave a guarded reply that they would pursue the issue though some of them pointed out that the officials were the best judges to decide on the “commercial viability” of providing a stoppage for Express trains.

The Train Passengers’ Association, Papanasam, has also questioned the rationale behind the tweet by the Tamil Nadu BJP State president, K.Annamalai, on March 28 stating that the stoppages for Chendur and Mysuru-Mayiladuthurai Express trains at Papanasam had been approved.

The association had finally decided to knock on the doors of the Prime Minister’s Office to get their grievance redressed.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2022 4:58:41 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/travelling-public-lament-neglect-of-papanasam-railway-station/article65612090.ece