Baiyappanahalli rail terminal is ready, but you can’t use it

South Western Railway (SWR) had plans to make Sir M. Visvesvaraya Railway Terminal at Baiyappanahalli – said to be the country’s first ever centralised AC terminal – operational in March, but is yet to do so as officials are waiting for a date from the Prime Minister’s office for the inauguration.

“The terminal is all set to open. Once the PMO gives a date, necessary arrangements will be made for commercial operations. Now, as COVID-19 cases are rising at an alarming rate, the terminal could be inaugurated through virtual mode or by limiting the number of guests. The decision will be taken at a higher level,” an SWR official said.

In March, Railway Board Chairman Suneet Sharma and other senior officials had inspected the terminal. Mr. Sharma had said that the terminal will be operational “shortly”.

SWR plans to operate 32 pairs of trains from the terminal, which is spread over 4,200 square metres and can handle passenger footfall of 50,000 per day. The Railways has spent ₹314 crore for the new infrastructure.

No overcrowding at stations

As COVID-19 cases rise, the railways have maintained that there is no overcrowding at stations.

“Around 15 days ago, 53,000 passengers were travelling from the division. Now, the number has come down to 42,000. Due to an increase in the number of cases in Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi and other States, passenger ridership has dropped to those States,” Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ashok Kumar Verma told The Hindu.

However, train services to West Bengal are getting good patronage, as many people are heading there to vote in the Assembly elections.

Officials say some of the summer special trains are also getting good patronage like every year.

No change in trains to KIA

Meanwhile, the five pairs of trains running to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) continue to receive poor patronage. The services were introduced in the first week of January.

“The response has been poor. We have not curtailed services and are running trains as per the schedule,” Mr. Verma said. It is said that around 50 passengers use the trains to reach Airport Halt Station. From Airport Halt Station, around 70 persons use the trains to reach the city or travel towards Bangarpet.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 7:33:57 PM |

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