The Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association has called upon the Southern Railways to develop Royapuram station into the third terminal of the city after Central and Egmore.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Association president S.P. Jeyapragasam said that Royapuram had 72 acres of land which was either unused or underused. This land could be sufficient even to construct a railway station of international standards.

The Association plans to take a group of MPs from Tamil Nadu and submit a memorandum to the Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee urging her to develop Royapuram station as the third terminal of Chennai.

At present, several north India-bound trains were being diverted from Chennai Central to Egmore, which hitherto had mainly catered to trains bound to southern Tamil Nadu. This move was resulting in Egmore Railway Station getting congested, he said. If Royapuram station, which was just 2 km from Chennai Central, were to be developed, then the north-bound trains could be diverted to Royapuram thereby decongesting both Egmore and Chennai Central railway stations, suggested Mr. Jeyapragasam.

The Royapuram station was ideally located and had good access roads on all four sides. Land was also adequately available, he said, to provide parking space.

Secretary P. Subash Chandra Bose said that development works were underway at Tambaram station, which was nearly 30 km from the city. Once the works were completed, Tambaram might be made the third terminal.

This would cause severe inconvenience to passengers as they have to travel long distance carrying their luggage. The Association has joined hands with the North Madras People's Rights Federation to campaign against any move to make Tambaram the third terminal, he said.

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