Sep 14, 2016

Trains provide safe passage to violence-torn Bengaluru



Bengaluru quiet after crackdown; Train services unaffected in Bangalore, Mysore, Hassan, Arasikere and Mandya districts

Bangalore: Not withstanding the disruption of bus services between Mysuru and Bengaluru owing to violence over Cauvery, train services have not been affected. Thousands of rail passengers continued to travel between Chennai and Bengaluru, despite the unrest in both the States over the Cauvery water. Those headed to Bengaluru did not seem to be bothered by the violence that had hit the city, while some others were cautious.
It is pertinent to note that the KSRTC suspended operations on the Mysuru-Bengaluru section on Monday because of the escalation of violence over the Cauvery issue. The suspension of services came barely two days after a semblance of normality was reported after the State bandh observed on Friday.

But sources in the railways told that train services on the Mysuru-Bengaluru section, Mysuru-Hassan-Arsikere and Mysuru-Nanjangud-Chamarajanagar remained normal even during the height of violence on Monday and there was no dislocation or delay in the services all of which operated on the dot. In all, 24 pairs of trains operate on the Mysuru-Bengaluru section, including the weekly and biweekly services, while 42 pairs of trains operate out of Mysuru across all sections.

During the peak of the Cauvery agitation, nearly 30,000 in-bound and as many outbound passengers used the services daily as against a normal of about 22,000 to 25,000 passengers per day. On Tuesday, when the bus services on the Mysuru-Bengaluru section remained crippled owing to fear of violence, passengers again switched to the train mode and reached their respective destinations. However, the number of passengers were relatively less as it was a public holiday on account of Bakrid.

Meanwhile, the Railway Protection Force has been instructed to ensure that there were no untoward incident during the proposed rail roko agitation called on Thursday, and hence all precautionary measures will be in place to ensure that the train services are not dislocated.

However, all of them were uniformly of the opinion that violence was not a solution to the Cauvery water dispute. According to Southern Railway officials, there was a spike in the number of people boarding day trains to Bengaluru on Monday, but it was normal on Tuesday. However, in the return direction, the trains were packed beyond capacity, at least till trains entered border stations such as Jolarpettai.

“I am leaving with my family for a house warming function. We will get down at K.R. Puram and the venue is within walking distance from the station. I am confident of a safe stay in Bengaluru,” said G. Krishnaveni, a government employee. E.M.K.S. Sushmitha, a final year law student, was accompanied by her parents on the Lalbagh Express and said that now that the Supreme Court had resolved the issue, it was for the people to give up violence.

Cooks and suppliers engaged by the catering contractor of Lal Bagh Express said that compartments were jampacked, leaving very little space for them to move between the coaches when the train left Bengaluru. However, after the train reached Jolarpettai, the bulk of the crowd got down. Passengers who reached Chennai in the afternoon, said rioters targeted vehicles in the city limits, while the suburbs were relatively calm. Passengers said Bengaluru-bound passengers should alight at K.R. Puram, Bengaluru Cantonment or East stations.