It was an affordable commuting mode for people during COVID-19 situation
The Pashchima Karavali Railway Yatri Sangha on Sunday urged the Railways to rescind the order cancelling Bengaluru-Mangaluru-Bengaluru four days a week Special Train (0615/0616) as the service was getting popular amid the COVID-19 situation.
“Sale of tickets for the service that was introduced just a few days ago cannot be the parameter for cancelling it,” said sangha president G. Hanumanth Kamath in a statement here. He said that the cancelled Bengaluru-Mangaluru Special as well as Bengaluru-Karwar-Bengaluru Special (06585/06586), which is under the threat of being cancelled, were serving the travel needs of the entire coastal districts.
At a time when travelling had come to a standstill during COVID-19, services of these two trains were required for those in dire need of travel, Mr. Kamath pointed out. He said that the services were gaining popularity within a short span, from September 4, and the cancellation of the Mangaluru service was uncalled for.
Mr. Kamath noted that second class coaches were not required as there was no counter sales of tickets. So were air-conditioned coaches as people did not prefer to travel on them in view of COVID-19 threat perception. Counting their occupancy too while cancelling the service was fallacious, he argued.
With over 200 advance reservations every day, there was every chance of the services getting popular in the coming days. People stop online booking once availability position reaches RAC, Mr. Kamath said and added that general quota should be increased to facilitate more booking.
At a time when the economy was yet to recover from COVID-19 blues, train travel offered affordable mode of commuting. If that too are stopped, people would be put to greater hardship, he said. The special trains were necessary for the revival of the coastal economy. For that matter, almost all special trains across the country were running with fewer occupancy.
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