Kerala may lose EKM-Bengaluru Vande Bharat: Passengers blame Southern Railways for inefficiency

The passengers have been demanding a Vande Bharat service from Kerala on the extremely busy Bengaluru route, for some time. Photo: iStock/SudeepBiswas

Kochi: The much-awaited Vande Bharat train in the busy Ernakulam – Bengaluru route may ‘depart’ Kerala soon. The Vande Bharat rake that has been parked at the rail yard in Kollam for months will be operated as a special service from Kochuveli to Mangaluru. Meanwhile, the Southern Railways authorities say that the additional service has been flagged off to manage the crowds during the summer season. The passengers have been demanding a Vande Bharat service from Kerala on the extremely busy Bengaluru route, for some time. However, the authorities seemed to have turned a blind eye to this again.

Another Vande Bharat rake that was supposed to be for the Ernakulam – Bengaluru service was brought to Kochuveli in Thiruvananthapuram, earlier too. But, later, the rake was allotted to Karnataka for the Mysuru – Chennai service. The one that was brought to Kollam after that, will now be taken to Mangaluru. Vande Bharat trains could have begun service from Ernakulam as facilities for its maintenance have been arranged at the marshalling yard here. However, the Southern Railways did not begin the service pointing out shortage of loco pilots and other reasons.

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru division too had rejected the recommendations of the Southern Railways citing problems with availability of platforms at the Bengaluru railway station. But, they were ready to accommodate the Madurai – Bengaluru Vande Bharat train. It is now clear that the Bengaluru division isn’t interested in allotting train services to Kerala. Meanwhile, complaints are rife that the proposals for allowing Vande Bharat trains in the Kerala – Bengaluru route are being continuously sabotaged due to the intervention of the private bus lobby. The authorities aren’t sure whether the rake that is being taken away will be ever returned. Rail passengers have been critical of the Southern Railways on the social media, alleging that Kerala has lost at least two Vande Bharat rakes due to the apparent incompetency and inefficiency of the authorities.  

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