Kothagudem: People in Kothagudem and surrounding areas, who travel by Singareni Fast Passenger Train, are now a happy lot. The reason for their happiness is South Central Railway (SCR) authorities have at last conceded to public demand to run Singareni train with conventional coaches instead of Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMU) rakes. And the development took place after nine months of fight by the locals.
It may be recalled that on March 25 this year, the SCR had replaced conventional coaches of Singareni Passenger Train with push-pull (MEMU) coaches. It caused much trouble to the passengers and they staged serious protests like rail-rokos and dharnas to riverse the decision.
Akhila Bharata Yadava Mahasabha and leaders of political parties fought for the restoration of train with conventional coaches and presented a memoranda to the SCR General Manager Gajanan Mallya during his visit to Kothagudem in September.
Then on September 30, the SCR issued a circular on replacing MEMU rakes with conventional ones from Oct 5. But in an immediate flip-flop, the SCR issued another circular on Oct 1 stating that replacing MEMU rakes with conventional rakes was not feasible operationally.
After a protest by local MLA Vanama Venkateswar Rao and representations made by MP Nama Nageswar Rao and local organisations, the SCR GM finally gave his approval on November 4 to run the locomotive with conventional coaches from November 9 from Kothagudem.
The passengers and the local youth celebrated the occasion expressing their happiness over the restoration of conventional coaches. They greeted the loco pilot, Station Manager and other officials on Saturday at Kothagudem railway station before the train started its journey.
“We thank the SCR GM Mallya, local officials, elected representatives and leaders people’s organisations who have contributed to the cause. Though there has been delay and people in the district and coal belt area are finally happy that SCR conceded to their demand” said Yadava Mahasabha leader Janga Shyamchander.
“Travelling in MEMU train has really been a trouble as it lacked proper toilets and sufficient seating arrangement. Elders and children suffered a lot during the past nine months. Thankfully the old coaches are restored” said Manikyamma, an elderly passenger.