Malabar rail users seek more

Staff Reporter

Crying needs remain unaddressed: action council

Nothing significant for Malabar: T.K. Hamza

Survey proposal for new lines hailed

MALAPPURAM: The Railway Budget presented by Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is a disappointing one to the rail users of Malabar, T.K. Hamza, former MP, has said.

The people of Malabar had high expectations on Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed, he said while talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday. “Mr. Ahamed could do anything for Malabar,” he said.

Rail users are not impressed by the announcement of some new trains and the regularisation of some other. The denial of populist demands like a daily train to Bangalore by converting the Kannur-Yaswantpur Express into a daily one, and a Nilambur-Thiruvananthapuram direct link is sad, he said.

“We had high hopes on Mr. Ahamed. Unfortunately, the Railway did not open its eyes on the real and crying needs of the people,” Divisional Rail Users Consultative Committee member and Nilambur-Mysore Railway Action Council secretary Biju Ninan said here.

The demand for a daily train from Malabar to Bangalore had increased especially after Karnataka closed the road through the Bandipur forests for traffic at night, Dr. Ninan said.

Even the Palakkad Railway Division had recommended the introduction of a daily train to Bangalore. The rail users of Malabar, under different organisational banners, are to meet in Kozhikode on Tuesday to review the budget.

Critics of Mr. Ahamed pointed out here that there was nothing significant in updating the surveys of new routes such as Thalassery-Mysore, Kothamangalam-Munnar, Angadipuram-Kozhikode, Erumeli-Punalur-Thiruvananthapuram, and Kumili-Dindigal.

However, they appreciated the new surveys of two proposed lines from Chengannur to Thiruvananthapuram via Adoor and Kottarakkara, and from Panathur to Kaniyur. Several trains announced in the budget were already in service, they pointed out.

Efforts to continue: MP

Special Correspondent writes from Kozhikode: M.K. Raghavan, MP, has said he will continue his efforts to obtain sanction for a pit line facility at the West Hill railway station and for conversion of Yashwantour-Kannur express train into a daily service.

In a statement faxed on Wednesday from Delhi, Mr. Raghavan congratulated Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Union Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed for the budgetary proposals that would significantly improve railway facilities in North Kerala. He said many of the facilities sanctioned for North Kerala, like the Kozhikode-Kannur passenger and a Kozhikode-Thiruvananthapuram train, were listed in a memorandum he had submitted to the Railway Minister.

The extension of Mangalore-Kannur passenger train to Kozhikode, and the survey that had been sanctioned for Kozhikode-Angadippuram line were also major achievements, the MP said.

He pointed out that Rs.25 lakh each had been allocated in the budget for four railway overbridges on West Hill-Elathur, Elathur-Koilandy sectors.

“I would try my best for pit line facility at West Hill, and conversion of Yashwantpur-Kannur train into a daily service which were also demanded in my memorandum to the Railway Minister,” Mr. Raghavan said.

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