BENGALURU: Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundurao has written to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw appealing to reconsider the decision to extend the Bengaluru-Kannur express train service up to Kozhikode in Kerala
Gundurao, who is also the district in-charge minister for Dakshina Kannada, said in his letter that the decision is adversely affecting thousands of commuters of the said train.
“Attention is drawn to the Railway Ministry’s decision dated 23.01.2024 to extend train Nos 16511 and 16512 between Bengaluru and Kannur, Kerala to Kozhikode. Since this decision is adversely affecting thousands of commuters of the said train, the following may kindly be perused,” Gundurao said in the letter.
“Train Nos. 16511 and 16512 is the only train service between Bangalore and Kannur via Mangalore. This is an overnight express train, which is highly demanded and always runs full. By extending the train to another destination about one and a half hours away, additional demand for the same number of seats is being created. It is hard to find any logic in extending a train service that always runs full between two stations,” he added.
He said that three stations, Thalassery, Vadakara, and Quilandi, are to be added between Kannur and Kozhikode, which will increase demand at all stations other than Kozhikode.
“Due to this extension, the availability of reserved berths will be drastically reduced in Train No. 16512, as the unreserved coaches will be occupied by passengers between Kannur and Kozhikode,” Gundurao said.
He said that Kozhikode is currently well-served by train connectivity.
“Train No. 16526/527 connects Kozhikode to Bangalore every day, while train No. 16566/567 connects Kozhikode to Bangalore weekly via Shoranur, Palakkad, and Coimbatore. The demand for these trains is high and they run continuously from Kerala. As a result, any remaining passengers from these trains will switch to 16511, making it impossible for Karnataka coastal passengers to get seats,” Gundurao said.
“Under the circumstances, kindly reconsider the decision to extend train Nos. 16511 and 16512 between Bengaluru and Kannur to Kozhikode, and the train services may be retained as before. This may kindly be treated as a request from the Government of Karnataka, as well as thousands of people from coastal Karnataka,” Gundurao concluded the letter. (ANI)