Passengers suffer as coaches reduced in Antyodaya Express

Now, the coaches get crowded by the time the train reaches Kollam from Kochuveli. Photo: Shutterstock/Amitali

Kasargod: To the dismay of rail passengers, the number of coaches of the Mangaluru – Kochuveli Antyodaya Express (16355 – 16356) have been reduced to half. The Antyodaya Express which was flagged off on June 9, 2018, operates services on Fridays and Sundays from Mangaluru to Kochuveli via Alappuzha and from Kochuveli to Mangaluru on Thursdays and Saturdays. The train that had more than 16 coaches in the initial days ran with just eight coaches last Sunday to Kochuveli. The passengers say that the coaches were overcrowded during this journey. Passengers to the southern districts, mostly rely on Antyodaya Express to travel without any reservation or pre-booked tickets. Lately, the coaches of many trains have been cut down, causing difficulty for the passengers. As there aren’t enough coaches, the trains from Mangaluru get almost full as soon as they reach Kasaragod. After Kasaragod, the train stops only at main stations like Kannur, Kozhikode, Shorannur, Thrissur, Ernakulam Junction, Alappuzha and Kollam.

Do the elected representatives know?
Rail passengers wonder whether the elected representatives and various associations in the district are aware of the reduction of coaches in Antyodaya that only has unreserved sitting. In the initial phase, these associations had organized huge protests against not allowing a stop for this train at Kasargod. As part of the protest, NA Nellikunnu MLA who purchased a ticket from Thiruvananthapuram to Mangaluru pulled the chain when the train reached Kasargod.
Commuters including patients to the RCC and medical college in Thiruvananthapuram as well as to the secretariat and various places in Kollam rely on this train to travel comfortably without booking tickets in advance. Women passengers often suffer as they do not find seats to sit on the train that mostly runs at night. People from the southern districts who work in Kasargod mostly travel by Antyodaya Express to go home on the weekends.

Now, the coaches get crowded by the time the train reaches Kollam from Kochuveli. So, passengers from other stations are even unable to board this train. Besides, students who study at various colleges in Mangaluru, Udupi and Sullia districts in Karnataka depend on the Antyodaya Express. Meanwhile, passengers demand immediate intervention from the elected representatives to solve this matter. It is said that the current crisis happened as the coaches from Andyodaya have been allotted for other trains.

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