Plans to acquire land near the Old Post Office Road

The Southern Railway was considering establishing another entrance to the Coimbatore Railway Junction. Talks with the district administration to acquire land near the Old Post Office Road for this purpose have been initiated, according to Rakesh Misra, General Manager of Southern Railway.

The junction already has an entrance from the Bank Road and another from Goods Shed Road. Further, plans were also afoot to construct a skywalk connecting the entrance and the first platform. As the plans were still being worked out, the costs estimates were yet to be finalised, he told journalists here on Thursday.

A major cleanliness drive had been taken up at Coimbatore Railway Junction, which along with Chennai Central, Egmore and Thiruvananthapuram, were among the major ones in south zone.

Apart from imposing fines for passengers who litter, maintenance works have also been given a major thrust.

When questioned on whether the recent tariff hike would lead to better services for the travelling public, he said that the main reason behind this move was to minimise losses.“The tariff hike of last year yielded Rs. 220 crore in additional revenue to the Southern Railways.

However, the increase in fuel and electricity prices alone resulted in additional expenditure of Rs. 240 crore in the same year.

So this hike was inevitable,” the General Manager said.Security had been stepped up following the twin bomb blasts at Chennai Central Railway Station with an integrated security system in place at Coimbatore.

On the issue of ticketless travelling, he said that Rs. 1.40 lakh was collected as fines from Chennai alone during May.

With around 50 per cent of all tickets being booked online, the number of counters was likely to be reduced. Shubhranshu, Divisional Manager of Salem Railway Division, and other railway officials accompanied Mr. Misra.

More In: Coimbatore