Kochi: Trains plying between Bengaluru and Kerala have all been fully booked amid heavy rush due to Vishu and Easter festivals.
No train tickets are available for the to-and-fro journeys. Sleeper class bookings for April 13 on the Bengaluru-Kanniyakumari Island Express and the Mysuru-Kochuveli Express were halted due to very long waiting lists. Nor are there any tickets available for the return journey to Bengaluru on Sunday (April 17) after Vishu.
The sleeper coaches on the Kochuveli- Bengaluru train have also been fully booked. On the Ernakulam-Banaswadi train, the waiting list for sleeper coaches is at 187.
Now, passengers will have to rely on the special services operated by the Karnataka RTC and KSRTC in view of the Vishu-Easter rush.
Kerala's complaint that there are not enough trains to Bengaluru is yet to be resolved. Though the passengers stand to benefit if the days on which Kochuveli–Yesvantpur Garib Rath Express conducts services are changed, the railway has not taken any action. Currently, Garib Rath Express operates services to Kochuveli on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; and to Bengaluru on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If this had been done, there would have been an additional train service from Kerala to Bengaluru on Sunday when there is a huge rush of passengers. The southern railway had recommended to change this, but the South Western Railway has taken the stance that a new terminal should be opened to tackle these issues.
The new terminal at Baiyyappanahalli is ready for inauguration. But no trains from Kerala are on the list of six trains to be diverted to Baiyyappanahalli. Another promise was to increase the number of services of the Kochuveli-Banaswadi Humsafar Express to thrice a week when the new terminal is opened. This request was rejected in 2019, while claiming that there was no space at Banaswadi. But it was informed that this would also be considered when the new terminal is opened.
If these two demands are met, then enough number of seats will be available at least on busy weekends.