KOCHI: The Kochi Corporation has come up with a stiff opposition to the Railways move to recall the Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) train to Chennai. It has passed a resolution in this regard stating that it will oppose every move of the Railways that would sabotage the MEMU dream of the district.
“This is one of the major and viable alternatives to ease the traffic congestion experienced by the city. Above all, this is a service affordable for the common man,” said K J Sohan, chairman, Town Planning Committee.
MEMU services are high speed trains which can run at a speed of 8 km/hr. Three years back, MEMU train services were sanctioned for Kerala and two maintenance sheds were allotted in Palakkad and Kollam.
“This train needs overhauling once in a week. Keeping this in view, seven MEMU trains can be maintained in one week and the Palakkad maintenance sheds are equipped for that. The works of Kollam maintenance shed will soon be over,” he said.
“It would cost only about Rs 8 to travel in a MEMU train. For instance, it would take only about Rs 3 to travel from Ernakulam to Aluva,” Sohan said. He also alleged that a lobby in support of Metro Rail project is making every move to strangle this project. He added that MEMU trains can run much faster than metro rail. It needs about Rs 5000 crore to complete the Metro Rail project where as MEMU project needs only Rs 100 crore.”
When contacted District Railway manager, Thiruvananthapuram, Rajiv Aggrawal quipped that they have tried to take back the train as they received such an order from the Southern Railway Headquarters. Ernakulam area manager for Railways said that the MEMU train will complete its proposed trial run. “There are no decisions taken other than the completion of the proposed trial run,” he said.