KOCHI: In spite of the many proposals put forward by local MPs to renovate the dilapidated railway stations in the heart of Western Kochi, they are yet to receive a positive response from the railways.
According to MP P Rajeev, the proposal to revamp the Cochin Harbour Terminus and the Mattanchery Halt Railway station was put forward last year when a team of railway officials including the divisional railway manager Rajesh Agarwal visited Ernakulam to study the development potential of various railway stations in the district.
“There were talks on reviving the old stations into a hub for passenger service. But unfortunately, there has been no response from the railways so far,” said P Rajeev. According to the residents, the two railway stations have become a haven for anti-social elements and the situation has worsened in the past few months. “Not even a single maintenance work has been carried out in the stations as far as I remember,” said Joy, a resident.
The Mattanchery Railway Station and Cochin Harbour Terminus which once carried huge passenger traffic came to a standstill in the mid-2000s when the Venduruthy bridge was partially damaged after a dredger hit it.
“Soon, the number of trains coming to both the stations stopped and incidentally the passenger traffic flooding the Ernakulam town stations increased. If the railways take the initiative to renovate the stations, it will be a relief to thousands of travellers especially from the Kumbalangi, Palluruthy, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry areas,” said K J Sohan, Town Planning Chairperson.
If the stations are revived, they could also be utilised to run MEMU trains. “Huge passenger potential is there from the Thiru Kochi side once the stations start functioning,” added K J Sohan.
Meanwhile, Union Minister K V Thomas has called a meeting with the railway officials on Friday to discuss developmental activities of the various stations in Kochi. This issue will also be discussed, the Minister has said.