CANACONA: The computerized Railway Reservation Centre (CRRC) opened with much fanfare to facilitate Railway Reservations to Canacona residents is reduced to a showpiece at Canacona Post Office.
There is neither any staff to man the counter nor any possibility of operating the railway counter shortly.
According to postal sources, the staff crunch Canacona Post Office at Chaudi operates without a Postmaster, and each of the two staff seen working on the counters handles the postal services independently.
“The postal official doubling up at the Computerized Railway Reservation Centre, other than his normal postal services, has since been transferred elsewhere 10 days ago, and his replacement is not yet posted to work in the Canacona post office. We are taking up only the postal services’ works, but we do not have the counter password or other related authorization to operate the railway reservation counter. We also do not know how long the railway reservation Services will not be available at the Canacona Post office”, informed a woman staff at the Canacona post office.
It may be recalled that Konkan Railway, to facilitate passengers booking all India Computerized reservation tickets, Passenger Reservation System (PRS) has been commissioned at the Post Offices located at Thivim, Karmali, Margao, CBO/Panaji and Canacona of Goa region.
Incidentally, the KRC Station at Chaudi, which earlier (pre-covid-19 ) used to issue tickets of the prescribed quota to the trains making a brief halt at Canacona Railway Station, has also stopped the same following resumption of trains post Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the Canacona Senior Citizens Forum (CSCF), an organization of mostly the Octogenarian residents of Canacona, has threatened Rail-Rokho agitation to demand Halts by major trains at Canacona Rly Station, as prevailing pre-covid-19 era.
With the railway authorities ignoring the pleas of Canconcars to resume short Halts to the trains passing through Canacona KRC Station, a Forum of Elders from Canacona has threatened to organize a Rail-Rokho agitation.
According to Canacona Senior Citizens Forum (CSCF) president Guilherme Martins, a resolution is passed in the CSCF meeting to hold a Rail-Rokho agitation as the
Konkan Railways are not responding to several representations made by various NGOs, including CSC Forum, to arrange short halts at Canacona Station of 3 trains: Trivandrum Netravati Express, Matsyagandha Mangalore Express and Gandhidham Nagarcoil Express.
It may be recalled that the running of trains was stopped in the country following the Covid-19 lockdown, and as the train services were resumed with certain restrictions/measures, including allowing boarding of only Covid-19 Negative passengers/commuters after the Covid outbreak eased out, trains were also resumed along Konkan route, via Canacona.
According to railway sources, Halts were not provided to Canacona as Canacona Station was not equipped with Medical Team to conduct Covid-19 tests on the passengers boarding or alighting the trains.
As the overall Covid-19 restrictions are almost brought to Nil and normal services, including trains services, are resumed as before, KRC authorities have not yet reverted back to permit Short-Duration Halts as previously existing to the Up and Down Netravati Express, Matsyagandha Mangalore Express and Gandhidham Nagarcoil Express through Canacona. Due to this, even the train quotas previously available at Canacona Railway Station to the respective trains are also not being extended.
This is causing lots of hardships to several people, and Senior Citizens are the most affected people on this railway circuit.
“Along with hordes of people, we too are put to suffer the inept action by Railway authorities”, alleges Martins, further requesting Railway Authorities not to bring senior citizens on the road at their ripe age.
Incidentally, several people have demanded Halts on the trains passing through Canacona, especially on all the Trains that existed previously.
Now to top it all, the reservation counter, which was opened with much fanfare, is not being operated, forcing people to either approach Margao or Karwar railway stations to book their Railway tickets.