The Railway Board is said to have ordered a full-fledged enquiry into alleged irregularities into supply, installation and commissioning of elevators and escalators at 10 stations of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) in Chennai.
The move follows a report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In a communication, the Director (Vigilance) of Railway Board has asked the authorities in Southern Railway to conduct the full-fledged enquiry, though the CBI had not proposed action against any specific official. The enquiry was essential to establish the irregularities conclusively, a senior railway official told The Hindu on Tuesday.
“We have asked for some reports from the CBI. An enquiry is on and some action will be initiated. The procurement of equipment is as per the specifications. Investigation is on to ascertain the quality,” he said.
The CBI had conducted a surprise check with the help of experts at the 10 MRTS stations in July 2009 and found that many escalators/elevators were not functioning. Amid suspicion that the materials were of sub-standard quality and not manufactured in India, the investigating officials found that two escalators, each worth about Rs. 50 lakh, remained in a packed condition on the Taramani station premises for months.
“Since the passenger amenities were in a bad shape, patronage of MRTS services remained poor for long. Most of the stations look deserted, particularly after dusk. Some station premises have become a safe haven for criminals...there were a couple of murders reported in MRTS stations, including one at Mandaveli on Sunday evening,” a police official said. Commissioner of Police T. Rajendran said he had taken up the issue of safety at MRTS stations with the Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai Division, S. Anantharaman on Tuesday.