CHENNAI: With the new Secretariat complex getting ready for inauguration, Southern Railway has spruced up the nearby Chintadripet station.
Though it will take at least six months to one year for the entire Secretariat to shift to the new complex, railway authorities have taken steps to keep the station ready for handling additional passengers.
With shrubs and wild bushes in and around the premises, unclean and poorly-lit platforms, stinking bathrooms and dry drinking water taps, the station wore a scruffy look till a few weeks ago. The shrubs and bushes have been cleared and platforms cleaned up. Faulty lights have been replaced and the outer walls given a colour wash.
Lifts and escalators have been made functional.
Temporary arrangements have been made for cleaning the station premises. Soon, a permanent contractor will be appointed. The toilets will be converted into pay-and-use facility for better maintenance.
Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan, who recently inspected all stations on the Beach – Velacheri MRTS section, directed officials to get the platforms cleaned periodically and have signboards in place for guiding passengers.
S.K. Kulshreshtha, DRM, Chennai Division, told TheHindu that the station was capable of handling two lakh passengers a day.
At present only 70,000 passengers were frequenting it. Current patronage for MRTS services did not warrant additional services.
However, he hoped there would be increase in passenger traffic once the new Secretariat complex became operational.
Depending on the passenger response, the existing six-car rake service would be augmented to nine-car rakes and frequency increased.
Metropolitan Transport Authorities told TheHindu that as of now there were no plans to open a full-fledged bus stand at the station. The existing bus stand, which was opened for intra-modal transport facility a few years ago, was abandoned due to poor patronage.
It would become operational again and services would be operated once the entire Secretariat is shifted to the new complex.
Theere was also a proposal to have a subway connecting the new Secretariat and the Chintadripet station and a bus stop for the convenience of commuters.