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DEMU train sans toilet facility

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'The operation of the recently introduced Salem – Karur – Tiruchi passenger train with DEMU (diesel electric multiple unit) coaches sans toilet facility is posing lot of hardship to the commuters.

Following repeated demands from the train users’ associations and commuters, the Railways extended the Tiruchi – Karur passenger upto Salem via Namakkal from February 5 on trial basis for three months.

According to the Railway sources, the train has been enjoying good patronage from day one.

The revenue of even the smaller stations has increased due to the operation of this train.

However, people are disappointed at the running of the train with DEMU coaches sans toilet facility. The train takes four hours to cover Salem and Tiruchi. Travelling in the train at a stretch for four hours is causing much hardship to the commuters, say a cross section of the people.

The train halts in the railway stations enroute for a minute or two and the longest halt of the train is at Karur Junction for 10 minutes. It will not be able to answer nature’s call using the toilet facility in the enroute railway stations and this is causing much difficulty to the travelling public.

As per the railway norms, the running of the train with DEMU coaches has been restricted to a certain distance, due to the absence of toilet facility. Following the norms, the Railways is operating the Salem – Tiruchi DEMU as two separate trains. The Salem – Karur train bears the number 06834 and the train from Karur to Tiruchi is operated with the No. 76834.

“The commuters wholeheartedly welcome the facility and the timings too are passenger-friendly. But, the Railways should ensure the running of this train with DEMU coaches with toilet facility”, says S. Ilahijan of Hasthampatti in Salem city.

She also demanded the extension of this train to Thanjavur / Kumbakonam.

When contacted, the Salem Railway Division sources said that the old DEMU compartments have no toilet facility. To enable the commuters to use the toilets in Karur junction, the train is halted there for ten minutes.

The sources said that since the commuters feel that absence of toilets is posing hardship, the matter will be taken to the notice of the railway headquarters.

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