When J. Sudhakaran came to drop his wife at Chennai Central Railway Station around 8.45 p.m, on Tuesday, he was shocked to find the display boards not working. He immediately rushed to the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel to know the platform from which Alleppey Express would depart.

Thousands like him have been approaching the RPF as the display board near platform 3, 4, 5 and one more adjacent to 10 have been out of order working since January. “The contract period for the maintenance of the board has ended and the railway is yet to finalise a new contractor. It has become a headache for us. All of them come to us while we are busy doing other work. But we can't shoo them away so we tell them to look at the LCD monitors,” said a RPF personnel. However, S. Anantharaman, Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai Division, Southern Railway said that issue would be sorted out by the end of the month. “We will be getting new boards,” he said.

Passengers say that the board is far more convenient as the status of all the trains appear on it. “It is near the entrance itself and the people can know on which platform their train is stationed. Now, passengers are left in the lurch especially amidst the summer vacation crowd. ,” said T. Ravikumar, president of All India Railway and Bus Passengers Association.

Passengers say that there is no point looking at the LCD monitors as advertisements are played most of the time. “We cannot know if the train has departed. The announcements are also not clear enough. Such details can be easily seen on the board as they are easily visible,” said S.Shanmugam, a commuter

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