Machinery worth Rs. 6 lakh and 43-member team in charge of upkeep of platforms 7 to 11

After an earlier failed attempt at mechanising cleaning operations at Egmore station, Southern Railway has awarded the contract to another agency.

The new agency has been entrusted the upkeep of platforms 7 to 11 (zone II). The maintenance of platforms 1 to 6 (zone I) will be outsourced to an agency soon and operations launched in about two weeks, an official said.

Two years ago, a similar contract was awarded to a conservancy agency but cleaning operations faltered because often, fewer personnel and machines were deployed, he said.

Under the new contract awarded to Pandidurai Agency for a period of three years, a team of 43 workers will be responsible for maintenance of the five railway platforms.

Their tasks include rag-picking, maintaining the foot overbridges and approach roads to the station, and also the 500-metre stretches on each end of the platforms.

The cleaning operations will be carried out with the help of machines — vacuum cleaners, flipper mechanical floor cleaners, jet water cleaners and blower sweep machines — worth about Rs. 6 lakh. The operations will be supervised by railway health supervisors.

On Wednesday, a team led by Sulochana Rajani, chief medical superintendent, supervised the operations.

“We expect better results from the new agency. The work it has carried out at Tiruchi station is one of the factors we considered before awarding them the contract,” said Madan Mohan, additional medical superintendent, Chennai Divisional Railway.

Souther Railway’s medical department also renewed their contract with the same agency at Chennai Central though they have interchanged the zones of the contractors. The 14 platforms at Chennai Central have been divided into two zones for mechanised cleaning contracts.

The department also maintains the Chengalpattu, Arakkonam and Melvarathur stations under Chennai Divisional Railway while the upkeep of smaller stations comes under the ambit of the traffic wing.

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