Lack of info on special trains irks pilgrims

Thousands of pilgrims, who throng Elavur, a small village bordering Andhra Pradesh, to attend the annual three-day national Bible convention are upset with the Southern Railway for not publicising the operation of special trains to Elavur this year for the benefit of pilgrims.

The devotees alleged that lack of information regarding the extension of special trains had led to confusion among them, and many of them failed to make it to the first day of convention on Friday.

The Southern Railway runs 11 pairs of trains to Sulurpetta everyday. Since the timings of the trains bound for Sulurpetta were not convenient, the authorities of Divine Mercy Centre in Elavur had submitted a memorandum nearly a month ago to railway officials, seeking an extension of two trains (8 am and 8.50 am) bound for Gummidipoondi up to Elavur station, opined railway sources.

‘There seems to be a communication gap between railway officials. The commercial department which is expected to justify the increased sales of tickets last year failed to do so this year, owing to which there was a delay in issuing the extension,” insiders added.

When contacted, S. Anantharaman, divisional railway manager-Chennai, said “The representatives from the Church approached the divisional office only on Thursday and sought an extension of trains which was immediately approved and notified. ”

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