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Tamil Nadu - Tirunelveli Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Nellai Junction nets more revenue

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI, OCT.15. Though the Southern Railway is yet to provide new coaches in trains serving the region, its earnings from the Tirunelveli Railway Junction has gone up tenfold within a span of just five years.

This station, which handles 52 trains, including weekly services, and passengers anywhere between 7,000 and 10,000 a day, earns over Rs. 7 lakh a day by way of selling tickets and cargo booking, which stood at just Rs. 65,000 five years ago. Earnings through reservation of tickets alone fetch Rs. 3.50 lakh a day now. Through sale of platform tickets at the Tirunelveli Junction, Southern Railway fetches another Rs. 2,000 everyday, excluding the Rs. 500 `earned' by the platform ticket vending machine.

Trains passing through this junction have a good patronage throughout the year and this division is the most profit-marking sector of the Southern Railway throughout the year. While the revenue of the Tirunelveli Railway Junction stood at Rs. 22.71 crore and Rs. 25.67 crore during 2001- 2002 and 2002-2003 respectively, it netted Rs. 24.19 crore during 2003-2004.

Despite filling the railway coffers, the coaches of express trains - Kanyakumari, Nellai, Ananthapuri, besides Pearl City Express originating from Tuticorin - are in a bad shape even after several representations were made to the officials concerned by various organisations.

"While most of the coaches still have bulbs instead of tube lights, the vestibules cannot be locked properly proving danger to passengers. Cushions in most of the berths are not stuffed properly, resulting in back pain to the aged. The locks and taps in most of the toilets are in a damaged state. We have submitted several petitions to top railway officials," said D. Balaji, vice-president, Tirunelveli District Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

However, some positive steps have been taken to provide passengers with improved facilities at the Tirunelveli Junction.

The platforms, which once could hold just 17 coaches, have been extended to accommodate 26 coaches. The number of wheel chairs available in the junction has gone up from two to 10, thanks to a goodwill gesture from sponsors. The number of public telephone booths on the platforms is to be increased from five to 10 soon.

"Besides providing passengers with more amenities, we accord top priority to their safety and security. We have installed surveillance cameras to monitor movements of anti-socials inside the junction. These cameras have been connected to two screens kept in the Station Manager's room and a police official," says Thangavel, the Station Manager.

Meanwhile, efforts are on to form a new train passengers association here to impress upon the authorities the need to provide passenger-friendly measures.

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