Saturday, August 24, 2013

Soon, an overnight train from Bidar to Bangalore

Railways awaiting Ministry’s direction, says divisional manager

S.K. Mishra, Divisional Railway Manager, South Central Railway, interacts with Khaji Arshad Ali, former MLC, in Bidar on Friday.

In all probability, Bidar will get an overnight train to Bangalore, senior railway officials said here on Friday.

“We are ready to run the train. If the Railway Ministry were to direct us to start the train, we can do it from tomorrow,” S.K. Mishra, Divisional Railway Manager, Secunderabad division, South Central Railway, who inspected facilities at the Bidar Railway Station, told presspersons. The district administration had agreed to fulfil demands for some facilities, he said.

Members of his team indicated that the train could start running in the first week of September, though they would not specify a date.

It is also likely to run three times a week, at least initially. It could start between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the evening and reach Yeshwantpur between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. the next day. It would then leave Yeshwantpur between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the same evening to reach Bidar by 9 a.m.

The railways wanted an assured supply of around 50,000 litres of water for cleaning the train and filling its tanks every day. “We have promised them the supply. We have a high capacity overhead tank in Gandhi Gunj area behind the station and a six-inch pipeline that connects the tank with the water supply system in the station has already been laid, but has yet to be used. We will start pumping water in two days,” P.C. Jaffer, Deputy Commissioner, said.

According to Dr. Jaffer, the cleaning and filling of Bangalore train rakes would begin after the intercity express left for Hyderabad at 7 a.m.

The demand for an overnight train to Bangalore has been a long-pending one. The Nanded Express that connects the two cities now takes over 17 hours to complete its run. It leaves Bidar at 12.30 p.m. to reach Bangalore the next morning.

The Hyderabad-Bangalore Express, which covers roughly the same distance, does so in less than 11 hours.

Organisations such as the Bidar Chamber of Commerce and Industries had demanded that the timing of the Nanded Express be changed so that it left Bidar at 6 p.m. K.H. Muniyappa, who visited Bidar last year as Minister of State for Railways, had said that it would be difficult, as the timing of several other trains would have to be changed to enable this.

Mallikarjun Kharge, Railway Minister, during a meeting in the Bidar Zilla Panchayat last month, had promised a new train between Bidar and Bangalore, if the timings of the Nanded Express could not be changed.