Though Srirangam Railway Station is situated close to Srimath Andavan Ashram, Sri Ahobila Mutt and Sri Dhasavathara Temple, lack of various facilities was causing a lot of inconvenience to residents of Srirangam and Tiruvanaikovil in general and devotees in particular.
Railway authorities have created various facilities on an outlay of Rs.1.23 crores at the railway station besides constructing a sub-way. Without the sub-way facility, the public faced a lot of difficulties in moving from one platform to another.
The sub-way, which connects the island platforms with the main entry, has been built on an outlay of Rs.45 lakh, using pre-cast concrete blocks.
The flooring, fixing of tiles on walls, roofing, lighting, construction of stair cases leading to platforms have been completed.
The work on the sub-way will be completed by the first week of November and the facility will be thrown open for public use shortly, according to railway sources.
The highlight of the execution of this project, which commenced in February last, was that the ongoing works never affected the movement of trains at any point of time.
Other facilities created at the station under the improvement plan are raising the level of island platforms 1, 2 and 3 following the gauge conversion, to enable the travelling public to board and alight from trains easily and the flooring of platforms.
The passenger-waiting area and the circulation area in front were also improved. Water supply and other passenger amenities have been provided.
The Tiruchi Railway Division has taken up a pilot project to try out portable toilets in the railway stations in a big way. A couple of portable toilets were installed at Srirangam station.
The main advantage of such toilets is that they remain clean and could be maintained easily.
Following good response from commuters for this project, the division has planned to provide portable toilets at all level crossings, island platforms in stations, which do not have toilets, and during festival seasons in stations, which attract a large number of passengers.
This facility will improve the general sanitation, besides overcoming infrastructure constraints in railway stations.
A cross section of the residents of Srirangam who expressed satisfaction at the creation of the new facilities, urged the railways not to leave any stone unturned for the proper maintenance of the same. They are also of the view that more portable toilets should be set up on all the three platforms, considering the flow of devotees round the year.
However they want the Railways to stop all long distance trains at Srirangam station. With the completion of the electrification work of the track between Villupuram and Tiruchi, they want the introduction of electrical multiple unit (EMU) train services between Tiruchi and Lalgudi. Even though retiring room facilities are available at Srirangam Station, additional rooms should be constructed and the existing ones should be modernised. Additional facilities like AC waiting hall, battery car service for transporting the sick and elderly people, more booking counters, are the need of the hour, they say.
Railway sources said that Rs.15 crore has been allotted for improving passenger amenities in various stations in the division during the current year and last year about Rs.14 crore was spent for the purpose.