November 26, 2018
The demand for better train connectivity from Coimbatore via Pollachi and Palani to the southern districts of Tamil Nadu covering Madurai, Rameshwaram and Tuticorin has been growing.
Citizen Voice Coimbatore, which is for better linkage of the industrial and textile hub, pilgrim towns like Palani and increase the flow agricultural products to and from Oddanchatram has made this demand.
But Railways shuns this claiming lack of wagons and rocky terrain among other excuses. CVC president CM Jayaraman wants the railway administration to fulfill the promises made by the Union Railway Minister of State a couple of months ago in Coimbatore to use the compartments of Blue Mountain Express from Mettupalayam to Madurai during daytime so that one more train with existing compartments can be run from Coimbatore to Madurai/Tirunelveli.
The organisation has also given an alternative in view of coach cleaning and maintenance at Mettupalayam, through the introduction of another train Semmozhi Express between Coimbatore and Madurai.
After prolonged plea of public, one train to Madurai has resumed after 10 years. CVC suggests that Cheran Express (in part or in full) be run from Chennai to reach Coimbatore by 5.30 am. Later, it could be used as Coimbatore Madurai Express with one AC chair car/double decker to start from Coimbatore to Tirunelveli/Tiruchendur and return immediately the same day.
Thirdly, Semmozhi Express which reaches Coimbatore by 6 am should be used as a circuitous train connecting Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore. By this, optimum use of coaches could be done, benefitting railways and the public.
Jayaraman and secretary VA Shanmugham have also made several proposals and sought from the government their status. Among them are starting the Coimbatore-Bengaluru night train, restoration of touch screen in North and Coimbatore stations, doing away with the bus shelter at Coimbatore North Junction and building a retiring room there, benefiting commuters to Gandhipuram and Mettupalayam bus stands, information board at the western side of the Coimbatore gate, automatic ticket vending machine with platform ticket facility on both sides of the stations, western side information display board, installation of water dispensing machine to prevent use and throw of plastic bottles and toilets at North Coimbatore and Podanur Junction.
Besides, it has sought an end to collecting berth charges from RAC passengers except during night by ticket examiners. Also, once the berth is allotted, additional charges should be collected by ticket examiner as was done earlier.