Now declared Adarsh station; pre-feasibility study for conversion into railway terminal
The two-year long struggle of the people of north Chennai seeking conversion of the historic Royapuram railway station into a railway terminal has ended on a happy note with Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Wednesday announcing a pre-feasibility study for this.
One of the oldest railway stations in the country and the oldest in the city, the Royapuram station was inaugurated in 1856. The station lost its relevance after the Central station became the city's main terminal. Despite having all the necessary features for a railway terminal, it remained neglected.
Mr. Trivedi's announcement in the Railway Budget 2012-13, which was tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday, brought cheer to residents of areas including Royapuram, Washermenpet, Tiruvottiyur, and Manali. The study would look at converting the dilapidated heritage railway station to a railway terminal. The station also finds mention in the list of Adarsh stations in the Budget.
S. Jeyachandran, convenor, Tamil Nadu Rail Passengers Rights' Tribune, while profusely thanking the Railway Minister for making the much-awaited announcement, said the proposal would benefit around 35 lakh residents of north Chennai. “Our people suffer from poor transport facilities. We would be put to a lot of difficulty if the Tambaram station, located on the southern outskirts, is made a terminal. If Royapuram station becomes a terminal, people of north Chennai would have the much needed long-distance train facility,” he said.
While the railway station would be made a hub only after a pre-feasibility study is conducted, the immediate benefit for the people of north Chennai is the announcement of making Royapuram station into an Adarsh station.
“The railways would ensure that such stations have basic facilities including drinking water, adequate toilets, catering services, waiting rooms and dormitories especially for lady passengers, better signages and other facilities,” explained S. Anantharaman, Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Railway.
The list of Adarsh stations in Chennai and suburbs are: Chennai Beach, Chetpet, Park, Korukkupet, Perambur Carriage Works, Thiruninravur, St. Thomas Mount and Chromepet.