Tuesday, February 27, 2007

No end to their daily ordeal

No end to their daily ordeal

The Hindu

It has nothing to offer for thousands of people who travel to the State capital daily for work

BANGALORE: Even as efforts are being made to decongest Bangalore, the Railway Budget has nothing to offer to the thousands of working class commuters who shuttle between KGF and Bangalore and Tumkur and Bangalore.

The demand for additional trains from KGF to Bangalore has not been met.

Apart from the existing Swarna Fast Passenger and Marikuppam-Bangalore Passenger, commuters have been demanding another fast passenger service to meet the rising number of daily commuters. Many even take the train from Bangarpet, around 11 km from KGF.

Nearly 10,000 residents of KGF, who have been rendered unemployed following the closure of Bharath Gold Mines Ltd. (BGML) travel to Bangalore daily.

Comprising mostly unskilled workers, a large number of KGF residents work in unorganised sectors as construction labour and others.

A former engineer at BGML, L. Maria Sounderaj, said: "A new service would have helped us as we travel with great difficulty. The only other option is to travel to Bangarpet and catch a train to Bangalore."

Although Marikuppam-Kengeri push-pull train was promised, the service has not been announced, he added.

For Syed Mujeeb, a resident of Tumkur who commutes to Bangalore daily, the budget will not bring any changes.

He said: "We have been demanding a fast passenger to Bangalore and expected that this demand will be fulfilled this time. The budget has not given anything to cheer."

Some 10,000 people travel from Tumkur to Bangalore daily, mostly officials, lawyers, factory workers and garment sector workers.

These commuters are dependent on the Arasikere-Bangalore Passenger that arrives in Tumkur at 7.15 a.m. and reaches Bangalore by 9.45 a.m.

The Hubli Passenger that arrives at 10 a.m. does not help the commuters.

The commuters had been demanding a fast passenger to fill the gap between Arasikere Passenger and Hubli Passenger, which has not been met.


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