‘Conflicting replies’ on cancellation of Bengaluru train irk passengers

‘The service stopped despite high occupancy; Minister’s promise remains on paper’

The “conflicting statements” issued by railway officials on the reasons for cancellation of the popular 06579/80 Yesvantpur – Visakhapatnam – Yesvantpur (Bengaluru) weekly special train are drawing flak from the rail users.

The special train was launched by the South Western Railway (SWR) on October 28, 2016, following the persistent demands from the Telugus living in Bengaluru and it soon received an overwhelmed patronage from the passengers as it was convenient for them to travel from the city to Bengaluru and vice-versa.

A substantial population from the city are working in Bengaluru and they prefer a direct train between the two cities.

Even as there has been a persistent demands that the train be regularised, the authorities cancelled the service, much to the inconvenience of passengers.

The passengers are alleging that there is no justification for the cancellation, given the “conflicting replies” being given by the railway authorities concerned.

The Divisional Rrailway Manager (DRM) Bengaluru recently replied on Twitter that the regularisation of the train depended on its occupancy.

RTI query

However, Nazeer from Bengaluru has obtained the occupancy figures for the last six months under the RTI Act.

The figures reveal that both 06579 and 06580 services had more than 120 % occupancy in all classes (II-tier AC, III-tier AC and sleeper coaches) and the earnings were more than 115 % during the said period.

What the SWR says

To another RTI query submitted by by Mr. Nazeer, the SWR replied on November 5 that the special train was cancelled due to path constraints over the South Central Railway (SCR).

As and when the path constraint is eased out, proposals would be sent to run this special train. As of now, there is no proposal to regularise this train, the RTI reply said.

Letter to Railway Minister

“It is unfortunate that there is no originating train to Bengaluru from Visakhapatnam, while smaller cities such as Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur have direct trains. Prasanthi Express, introduced from Visakhapatam to Yesvantpur in 1998, was extended to Bhubaneswar in 2006, ignoring the protests from all political parties,” said N. Gajapathi Rao, Zonal Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (ZRUCC), East Coast Railway (ECoR).

He highlighted the issue in a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on November 16. He alleged that the ECoR authorities, ignoring the interests of the passengers from Visakhapatnam region, introduced a Suvidha weekly express from Bhubaneswar on November 4, to suit their convenience.

M. Gajapathi Rao reminded the Railway Minister that his (Mr. Piyush Goyal’s) assurance in the Rajya Sabha on December 21, 2018 that the special train would be resume services in January 2019.

“The promise is yet to be materialised. A regular train from Visakhapatnam to Bengaluru should be introduced. The ECoR is silent on the proposal mooted by the South Western Railway to allot a slot for two days a week to run the special from Visakhapatnam, provided a rake was assigned by ECoR. But, the latter is yet to act on this,” Mr. added.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 10:26:05 PM |

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