Just two buses connect the busy Kochuveli railway station to Thampanoor: Why?

The lack of proper bus services is one of the main reasons why the Kochuveli railway station, which was opened in 2005, remains underdeveloped. File Photo

Thiruvananthapuram: According to the railways, around 6,625 passengers commute through the Kochuveli railway station daily. However, the KSRTC has arranged just two low-floor AC buses at the railway station for the passengers to travel from here. For a long time, passengers have been demanding to allow more ordinary buses to connect the railway station to the Thampanoor bus terminal. Despite conducting multiple rounds of discussions, the KSRTC has not been able to add Kochuveli railway station to its city service. Besides, there aren’t many buses from the city for the passengers to reach Kochuveli on time for their train.

Rs 200 for auto
Kochuveli is a major railway station where 28 trains either begin or end their journey. Moreover, this is the terminal that mainly operates long-distance trains from Kerala to the North Indian states. However, the state government or the KSRTC refuse to acknowledge the importance of such a railway station. Two AC buses are scheduled to the city only when the Mysuru – Kochuveli Express reaches the station in the morning. One bus each would depart when a train arrives, which is not enough. Meanwhile, auto-rickshaw drivers charge more than Rs 200 as fares from the city to the Kochuveli station. Hundreds of rail passengers could benefit if the chain service of electric buses is allowed instead of the AC busses.

Passengers reluctant to book tickets to Kochuveli
Shihab, a regular passenger from Kochuveli says that he often travels to the city in auto rickshaws or taxis by spending huge amounts as there aren’t enough buses from here. It is not practical to walk to the World Market junction on the national highway, especially with luggage and children, to catch the bus. Hundreds of daily passengers like Shihab suffer difficulties due to a lack of transportation facilities to and from the railway station. Meanwhile, Dr Biju Ninan, secretary of the Nilambur Passengers’ Association, says that most passengers refuse to book tickets to Kochuveli as proper transportation isn’t available here. So, they have asked the authorities to extend the Nilabur – Kochuveli Rajyarani Express until Thiruvananthapuram Central. The lack of proper bus services is one of the main reasons why the Kochuveli railway station, which was opened in 2005, remains underdeveloped. Currently, there are six platforms in this railway station. Besides, a pit line and a stabling line too are being constructed for maintenance works, as part of the master plan. More trains would arrive at the station when these are completed.

Circular service needed
The railway offers space and other facilities for parking the buses. More buses are required to ferry passengers when a train arrives or departs. Only one bus is available at the station when hundreds of passengers deboard at Kochuveli.
Timetable of the trains that depart from Kochuveli:
12.55 am: Kochuveli – Kurla Bi-Weekly (Monday, Thursday)
6.15 am: Kochuveli – Korba (Monday, Thursday)
6.35 am: Kochuveli – Indore Ahalyanagari (Saturday)
6.40 am: Mathura – Punalur Express
8 am: Kochuveli – Barooni Special (Saturday)
8.43 am: Nagercoil – Kollam Passenger

9.10 am: Kochuveli – Kurla Garib Rath (Thursday, Sunday)
9.10 am: Kochuveli – Chandigarh Sambark Kranti (Monday, Saturday)
9.10 am: Kochuveli – Amritsar Express (Wednesday)
9.10 am: Kochuveli – Yoga Nagari Rishikesh (Friday)
11.15 am: Kochuveli – Indore Superfast (Friday)
12.50 pm: Kochuveli – Hubli Superfast (Thursday)
12.50 pm: Kochuveli – Yashwantpura AC Express (Friday)
2.15 pm: Kochuveli – Nizamuddin Special (Tuesday)

2.49 pm: Nagercoil – Kottayam Express
3.35 pm: Kochuveli – Thambaram AC Special (Friday, Sunday)
3.45 pm: Kochuveli – Sri Ganganagar (Saturday)
3.45 pm: Kochuveli – Bhavnagar (Thursday)
4.20 pm: Kochuveli – Kurla (Saturday)
4.20 pm: Kochuveli – Shalimar (Friday)
4.45 pm: Kochuveli – Mysuru
5 pm: Kochuveli – Yashwantpur Garib Rath (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

6.05 pm: Kochuveli – SMVT Bengaluru Humsafar Express (Thursday, Saturday)
6.08 pm: Thiruvananthapuram – Kollam Passenger
6.25 pm: Kochuveli – Chennai Garib Rath Special (Thursday)
7.25 pm: Kanyakumari – Kollam MEMU
9 pm: Kochuveli – Nilambur Rajyarani Express
9.25 pm: Kochuveli – Mangaluru Antyodaya (Thursday, Saturday)
* This timetable is applicable for the trains via the Konkan region from June 10 onwards.
Log on to the website for detailed information.

Bus routes
Route 1
Thampanoor, Medical College
KIMS, Kumrapuram
Venpalvattom – Kochuveli Railway Station
Route 2
Thampanoor – Petta – Chakka
Bypass – Kochuveli Station -  Kazhakoottam – Sreekaryam 
Ulloor – Medical College – Thampanoor
“The city circular services should connect the railway stations. People mostly use public transportation to continue their journey from the railway stations. Exorbitant auto and taxi fares await those who arrive at Kochuveli on affordable train tickets. The authorities should realise that proper transportation facilities aren’t available for the passengers to get out of the railway station,” Vinod Philip, IT Professional at Technopark

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