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MADURAI: Rail users in the regions have demanded the Southern Railway (SR) to operate special trains for the benefit of students who head to Chennai for the counselling to engineering and medical courses, which begin from Thursday. Members of various rail users associations have estimated that nearly five to seven thousand passengers (students and their parents) from the southern districts will be travelling to the state capital for the next two months, in connection with the counselling. The associations pointed out that a daily special train during the counselling season will greatly help the students and parents alike.P Edward Jeni, secretary, Kanyakumari District Railway User's Association (KKDRUA)said that all the trains bound to Chennai from the southern districts are running full. and there is no availability for further booking."Students going for counselling are not able to get reservation in the trains originating from the southern destinations with large number of... Read more...
passengers waitlisted. A daily train service from Nagercoil to Chennai during the next two months will cater to all the student population from this region," he said.P T K A Balasubramanian, member of Divisional Rail Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC) in Sattur said, "The demand is valid for the sake of students and parents. Railways can consider this demand and operate a special train and make it permanent in the coming years during counselling months," he mentioned. Recently, the state government had announced concession in government buses for those students travelling for counselling. Edward said that though it was a good measure, the train fare will still be cheaper and the journey more comfortable. for the students. "Bus journey is tedious and students will be worn out by the time they appear for counselling. Train journey is also safe and comfortable," said S P Jeyapragasam, former member of DRUCC. and president of Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association Ltd in Madurai . "It is a good cause which may help thousands of our children and our MPs can take it up with railway board for a special train," he suggested. Besides, the rail users also urged the railways to consider a temporary stoppage at Guindy station in Chennai during the counselling period so that students and parents may reach Anna University easily. "A stoppage at Guindy will indeed assist the parents from this region who are not familiar with Chennai and that they need not go through hassles of Chennai traffic," Jeyapragasam mentioned. "Further, it will ease the traffic congestion in Chennai, as many passengers going for counselling may alight at Guindy itself," Edward pointed out. When contacted, Madurai DRM, A K Goel said that the rail users associations can submit a petition to the Southern Railway in this regard as the headquarters takes the decision on introducing special trains. "Such matters should be decided by the Southern Railway headquarters. If the rail users submit a petition to the division, we will certainly take it up with headquarters about the feasibility of running a special train to help the students," he said.