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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thanjavur to Madras Egmore - Uzhavan Express inaugurated

Thanjavur [Tanjore] is the Rice Bowl of South India ~ the water requirements for rice crop were so well taken care by the Cauvery river for long…. .. in recent times, there is problem and farmers are increasingly dependent on rain and are going for long term variety of CR 1009 [160 days duration crop] ~ the place is famous for the Big Temple.  Thanjavur was most prominent during the regime of Chola Kings whence it was the Capital; thereafter, it was ruled by Nayaks  and Maratta Kings, who nurtured art and culture. 

Agriculture is the primordial activity and the World is dependent on it… in the words of Thiruvalluvar…’the ploughers are the linch-pin’ ; for they support all workers who cannot till the soil….

The festival of lights Deepavali is 2 months away [falling on 2nd Nov 2o13] ~ and travelling home for the festival perhaps is going to be arduous for those in Chennai. It is stated that berths on regular trains to southern districts were sold out minutes after bookings opened on Saturday and Sunday [30th and 31st Aug]. More than 50% of the bookings were done online.The booking pattern reveals that trains to Madurai,Tirunelveli and Nagercoil remain popular as they were in the previous years. Now seats are not available to  Madurai on Pandian Express, Podhigai Express, Nellai Express and Ananthapuri Express. Similar is the situation on trains to Tuticorin,Tirunelveli,Coimbatore and Trichy. This will force the passengers to rely on Tatkal bookings which would be available a day before the departure.  Private bus operators will make hay charging differential rate as the demand grows up….

file photo - not that of Uzhavan Express....

Train journey is most enjoyable as one can spend time leisurely eating the choicest delicacies and look through the window the different culture, fields, people and everything as the train chughs past different areas.  Interestingly, Indian Trains have Names besides the Numbers. As you would know, Trains now have 5 digit numbers – earlier they were 4 digits.  Most trains are named after Gods, rivers and important places in the origin or destination – but this one is a bit different  - it’s name hails the agriculturist !!!

The “Uzhavan Express” ( உழவன் விரைவு ரயில் ) is the recently introduced train in the Southern Railway zone running between Chennai Egmore and Thanjavur Jn- from 1st Sept. 2013.  It is a daily train covering a distance of 351 km ~ with halts at Papanasam, Kumbakonam, Aduthurai, Kuttalam, Mayiladuthurai, Sirkali, Chidambaram, Cuddalore, Panruti, Villupuram, Tindivanam, Melmaruvathur, Chengalpattu, Tambaram, and Mambalam. The name ‘Uzhavan Express’ signifies the importance of the Cauvery delta and its farmers. 

The Uzhavan Express has nos. 16183 / 16184.  Newspapers report that the new Thanjavur-Chennai Egmore Uzhavan Express was flagged off from Thanjavur Railway Junction on 1st Sept. 13 amidst high drama as cadre of the AIADMK and the DMK turned up in large numbers with their party flags and raised slogans to claim credit for the introduction of the train.  The train that fulfils the long-pending demand of the people of Thanjavur for a direct night train chugged out of the platform at 8.45 p.m and is scheduled to reach Chennai Egmore at 4.55 a.m. the next day. The train has 17 coaches - of which nine are sleeper class, one AC two tier, one AC three tier, four general second class, and two second class-cum-luggage.
It leaves Chennai Egmore at 11.30 p.m. and reaches Thanjavur at 7 a.m.

Tailpiece : it is reported that in the melee at the platform during inauguration of the Thanjavur-Chennai Uzhavan Express, one of the party cadres standing atop the diesel loco of the train fell down and died.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

2nd Sept. 2013.

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