Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 18 May 2024 7.56 PM IST

Game at official level to stop Kerala's third Vande Bharat


It is not enough to say that India is changing, it must be felt by the people in their daily lives. One of the best ways to convince people of this is to improve the comfort of travel and upgrade the vehicles used for it. It has been more than half a century since metro services and trains with modern facilities have come to foreign countries. In India on the other hand, the trains and compartments that are running are in deplorable condition in terms of safety, cleanliness and visibility even in this 21st century. It is better not to mention the condition of the third-class general compartments. It is enough to look at the third-class compartment where the poor travel to understand how much consideration is given to them by the people's representatives who win their votes by saying that they will work tirelessly for the upliftment of the poor

All the trains in India cannot be converted to Vande Bharat standard at once but the effort is needed in the coming years. The granting of Vande Bharat is considered a recognition even by the states. Vande Bharat has only two special features compared to other trains. First, it gets passengers to their destination faster than other trains. Second, cleanliness and neatness in appearance. As a country progresses, people become reluctant to accept unsanitary conditions. The arrival of Vande Bharat and others can be considered proof that India is going through such a situation.

Kerala first got the 15th Vande Bharat connecting Kasaragod with Thiruvananthapuram. This train service was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 April 2023 at Thiruvananthapuram Central Station. After that, another Vande Bharat, going to Kasaragod via Alappuzha was also allowed. We cannot forget that there were politicians here who spoke against Vande Bharat when it was granted. What they basically said was that these trains will not be filled after a week. However, these Vande Bharat services have an average occupancy of 183 percent as of official figures of July 2023. In other words, in terms of number of passengers, it is in the first place in India.

Tickets for Vande Bharat still need to be reserved weeks in advance. Centre allocated a third Vande Bharat from Ernakulam to Bengaluru considering this. Although it was announced in February, it has not yet been implemented. Railways, ruled by the southern lobbies, has stopped the train at Ernakulam saying that there is no staff to clean it and refuel it. Top railway officials from our neighbouring state are working behind this. Although it was announced in February, it has not yet been implemented. Railways ruled by South Indian lobbies have blocked the third Vande Bharat on the weak grounds that there are no staffs to stop the train at Ernakulam to clean it and refuel it. Top railway officials from our neighbouring state are working behind this. If there is no facility in Ernakulam, it can be extended to Kochuveli or Thiruvananthapuram. Officials are tight-lipped about it. Kerala should not accept this game of officials. The state government should put pressure on the centre to take action to run the third Vande Bharat.

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