Thiruvananthapuram: The weather forecast report suggests that the summer showers in Kerala are likely to continue till the election day. A yellow alert has been issued in Palakkad district for Saturday as the chances of heavy rainfall in this region is high. An average rise of 3 degree Celsius is expected in the other districts of Kerala.
Palakkad may witness upto 115 mm of rain. The possibility of land slides are also high in the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram and Thrissur. The Disaster Management Authority has warned general public to be wary of the strong gust of wind, lightning and thunder from 2pm to 8pm.
It is yet to be seen if the rains will dampen the polling percentage in the state.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has asked Kerala government to declare April 22, the eve of poll day in Kerala, as a holiday for all educational institutions, private and public. Only exams need to be postponed since it is summer vacations.
The government can decide if public offices and institutions should be allowed leave of absence under Negotiable Instruments Act or a holiday declared, Chief Election Officer Teeka Ram Meena said. However, the Kerala government decided that public offices and institutions will remain open on Monday.
Trains crowded as vacation, polls coincide
Trains are packed as elections have coincided with vacations this year. Tickets are unavailable on regular services.
Seats are available on special trains like Kochiveli-Mumbai CST and Ernakulam-Pune Humsafar for April 24. However, a ticket to Pune was priced at Rs 2,140 yesterday on Humsafar that employs dynamic pricing, where price rises in proportion with demand.
Though Ernakulam-Lokmanya Tilak Turando has 200 seats available, third and second AC tickets were Rs 3,010 and Rs 4,210 respectively.
Bengaluru, Chennai and Mangaluru routes are busy. Some seats are vacant on Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai special for April 24. Waitlist crossed 100 on Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur Jan Shatabdi for the same date. General compartments have been crowded from Monday. Authorities have opened more counters to ease congestion at stations.
There is strong demand for special train on Thiruvananthapuram-Mangaluru route. Special trains are available only to Chennai and Mumbai this summer. Trains to Delhi, Bengaluru, Howra and Patna are yet to be announced.