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Thursday, April 26, 2012

AP faction charters train to take followers ( CNN IBN NEWS)

KOZHIKODE: Cars and buses are what political parties usually use to transport their workers to party conferences but Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musaliyar’s organisation has opted for something slightly bigger.
An entire train has been booked for the followers of the� Sunni faction spiritual leader to take them to the conclusion of his ‘Kerala Yatra’ in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday!
The specially chartered train, which the organisers claim is a first in Kerala’s organisational history, will start from Mangalore on Friday night and will transport more than 1,700 people to the state capital.
“The train will have one air conditioned compartment, two sleeper berths and 17 chair cars. It will stop at 14 stations on its way to Thiruvananthapuram, 12 of which are in Malabar. The fare will be paid by the travellers themselves. The facility has been arranged by the Chemmad, Malappuram wing of SSF” said Ibrahim Kutty Haji, one of the organising committee members of the Kerala Yatra.
He believes that the arrangement is something unprecedented in Kerala’s history and admits that it has come at a cost. “We believe we are the first organisation in Kerala to book a train to transport workers to a meeting. It has cost us more than `30 lakh and we had to deposit this amount with the Railways in advance including `5 lakh as a security deposit,” he said.
Railway officials confirmed that booking a train along the aforementioned route was no cheap affair. “To start from Mangalore, they will first have to transport the empty coaches from Chennai and any costs pertaining to this will have to be borne by the party themselves. They will also have to pay additional fee for any stop they make during the journey apart from the ones made for maintenance purposes,” said a high ranking official in the Southern Railway headquarters in Chennai.
He also added that getting clearance from the necessary officials was a time consuming affair.� “A request has to be first made to the Senior Divisional Officer who will then forward it to the Chief Operating Manager. Costs and feasibility of running such a train along the route will be worked out after which clearance, if possible, will be issued,” he said. 26/04/2012

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