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‘Separate train with separate number for Karwar'
‘Officials denied move to revoke extension'
KANNUR: Amid concerns that the extension of the Bangalore-Mangalore Express train to Kannur will be revoked in the wake of a Karnataka High Court (HC) order directing the Railway authorities to extend the train to Karwar in Karnataka, Kannur MP K. Sudhakaran says categorically that the Railway authorities have not decided to withdraw the extension of the train to Kannur to alter its destination.
Mr. Sudhakaran told The Hindu on Sunday that reports suggesting that the Railway authorities had decided to rescind the extension of the train to Kannur to facilitate its extension to Karwar were baseless. “There is no such move and the train will be extended to Kannur,” Mr. Sudhakaran said. A separate train, with a separate train number, had already been sanctioned to be extended to Karwar, he said, adding that there was no need for any concern in the wake of the Karnataka High Court order.
The court had not directed the Railway authorities to revoke the extension to Kannur, but only to extend the train to Karwar, he said. The night train from Bangalore to Mangalore city had been was extended to Kannur for three days a week last year, and later, the service had been converted into a daily one. The Paschima Karavaili Railway Yatri Abhivriddhi Samiti and the Udupi Railway Yatri Sangh had jointly filed a writ petition in the State High Court questioning this move. They argued that an Inter-Railway Traffic Committee meeting held in Bangalore in 2009 had decided to extend the train to Karwar and the time table had been prepared.
The MP said he had met the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee when the demand for withdrawing the train's extension to Kannur for diverting it to Karwar was raised. The Minister had assured him that the extension of the train to Kannur would not be changed. When he contacted senior Railway officials following the latest reports of the move to cancel the extension, they had denied any such attempts, Mr. Sudhakaran said.
Meanwhile, railway passengers' associations in the region urged the MPs and other people's representatives in the Kannur and Kasaragod districts to exert strong pressure on the Railway Ministry to ensure that there was no withdrawal of the train's extension to Kannur.
Kannur District Railway Passengers' Association secretary K.M. Ibrahim said the association had alerted the MPs to the possibility of the withdrawal of the extension following the Karnataka High Court order. He also said a proposal had been submitted to the Railway authorities to run two trains, one to Kannur and the other to Karwar, after the train from Bangalore reaches the Mangalore Central station, by dividing the coaches. It would require an additional engine and loco-pilots to operate them, he said.
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