Lok Sabha polls| Candidates articulate demands of rail passenger associations during campaign 

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Rail passenger associations and organisations espousing the cause of train travellers in Western region have noticeably prevailed upon candidates contesting in Coimbatore and Pollachi Lok Sabha constituencies to highlight their main demands during their campaign.

Candidates of DMK, AIADMK, BJP and Naam Tamilar Katchi are, in their campaign speeches, holding out assurances to pursue their demands with the Railway Ministry.

According to J. Sathish, director, Kongu Global Forum, and former member of Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee, improvements in rail infrastructure, services and facilities in Coimbatore will pave way for doubling the ₹ 500 crore revenue, alongside serving the travelling public.

Podanur, which could be renamed Coimbatore South and Coimbatore North, as additional terminals, need to be developed with additional pitlines, stabling lines.

The travelling public look for restoration of train services to Southern districts of Tamil Nadu, and new daily train services to Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai Egmore, and Nagappattinam, Mr. Sathish emphasised adding that Vande Bharat express to Thiruvananthapuram, Mangaluru, and Hyderabad will also be well patronised.

Also, a dedicated freight terminal between Somanur and Irugur to handle, steel, cement, food grains, minerals and others, was necessary, and MEMU train services connectivity must be established within 100 kms from the city along with Circular Train service.

The Podanur Rail Users’ Association general secretary N. Subramanian said the demands of the rail users in Coimbatore have been incorporated in their manifestoes by candidates of mainstream parties.

The main demands of the Pollachi Train Passengers’ Welfare Association that are being articulated by contesting candidates include daily passenger / MEMU trains from Pollachi to Mettupalayam; extension of Coimbatore-KSR Bengaluru-Coimbatore UDAY Express train to Pollachi/ Palani via Kinathukadavu.

Pollachi Junction is being utilised by the travelling public from Pollachi, Kinathukadavu, Anamalai and Valparai taluks, said S. Balakrishnan, president, Pollachi Train Passengers’ Welfare Association.

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