Suburban trains delayed; seven trains on MRTS line cancelled; disruption was caused due to problems with the overhead line
The disruption of EMU services on Saturday evening put commuters in the city to hardship.
A delay in the train services by about half an hour affected commuters of suburban trains on the Chennai Beach-Tambaram and Chennai Beach-Chengalpattu sections. The Chennai Beach-Velachery MRTS section too was affected with seven trains cancelled in a period of over an hour.
The disruption was caused due to problems with the overhead line between Chennai Beach station and Egmore, officials said.
The services resumed on the Chennai Beach-Velachery section by 6 p.m. Meanwhile, a large number of commuters were seen leaving some of the 17 stations on the elevated line that runs over a distance of about 25 km.
“I came to Chintadripet MRTS station at 5 p.m. Services scheduled for 5.08 p.m., 5.23 p.m., 5.35 p.m., 5.45 p.m. and 5.55 p.m. did not operate. The train that arrived after 6 p.m. was crowded. So I was unable to board the train. I am late for a meeting,” said Mohan Hamal, a resident of New Delhi who has been using the MRTS for commuting from Taramani to Chintadripet for the past one month.
Many commuters, who were stuck in stations such as Chennai Beach, Park station, Chintadripet, were forced to take a bus, which lead to congestion in the bus stops. A few commuters had to hire the services of autorickshaws. Some of them alleged fleecing by auto drivers near MRTS stations.
“I waited for the train for one hour. But there was no announcement on the public address system. I could have reached my destination by an alternative mode of transport if they had made an announcement on disruption of services and the reason for such disruption,” said P.K. Narayanan, another commuter.
The services on the Chennai Beach-Avadi, Chennai Beach-Tiruttani and Chennai Beach-Gummidipoondi/Sullurpetta sections remained undisrupted.
However, around 9.15 p.m., a train was delayed on the Chennai-Beach-Gummidipoondi section, which led to commuters staging a protest. Half an hour later, following the arrival of the police and Railway officials who pacified them, they dispersed.