AP Express: ECoR’s ‘inability’to arrange coaches draws flak

Notwithstanding the decision of the Railway Ministry to run the 22415/16 Visakhapatnam-New Delhi-Visakhapatnam AP AC Express with a new train number, name and composition with effect from January 23, 2020, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has expressed its inability to arrange the seven LHB sleeper coaches.

Though the ECoR has officially announced that the train will run with revised composition from January 23 ex-Visakhapatnam, and from January 25 ex-New Delhi, the failure of the authorities concerned to show the availability of sleeper class berths on this train, on the railway website, has evoked widespread criticism from various sections of the people.

Train No. 22415/16 Visakhapatnam-New Delhi-Visakhapatnam AP AC Express was launched as tri-weekly on August 12, 2015. It was made a daily train from December 31, 2015 in view of the tremendous demand for direct trains to the national Capital from Visakhapatnam.

A large number of people from north India reside in the Port City, as it is the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC), also has a large number of Central government organisations, employees of which are from the north.

Soon after the launch of this train, the then MP, Kambhampati Haribabu, and others had been demanding convenient timings to enable people of the Visakhapatnam region to reach Delhi in the early hours, to avoid the prospect of spending more money on hotel accommodation. They had also been seeking cutting down of journey time and provision of sleeper accommodation for the convenience of middle class travellers.

ECoR contention

“The LHB coaches, sanctioned for Visakhapatnam, were snatched by the ECoR headquarters in Bhubaneswar, in the past. The contention of the ECoR authorities that they cannot provide seven LHB sleeper coaches to the AP Express is ridiculous and shows their discrimination towards Visakhapatnam and Waltair Division,” alleges N. Gajapathi Rao, Member, Zonal Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) of ECoR.

In a recent letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the ZRUCC member also demanded increase in the frequency of Swarna Jayanthi Express and also its extension to Katra or Jammu Tawi and making Samata Express a daily train.

“We have written to the Railway Board seeking supply of sleeper coaches and hope to get them soon,” Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of Waltair Division G. Sunil Kumar told The Hindu on Wednesday.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 10:17:06 PM |

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