Chennai

Railway commuters associations pitch for more passenger amenities in DRUCC meeting

The residents and commuters of Pattabhiram have been requesting for a subway to connect north with south sides of the Pattabhiram railway station 

The residents and commuters of Pattabhiram have been requesting for a subway to connect north with south sides of the Pattabhiram railway station  | Photo Credit: File Photo

The full-fledged operation of suburban and near normal restoration of express and passenger train services from the city by the Southern Railway has raised several expectations from the passengers. In the wake of the post-pandemic relaxations and the rising cost of fuel prices making train travel the cheapest mode of public transport, the Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (DRUCC) meeting being convened regularly for getting feedback from commuters, traders and commercial institutions, has gained focus in the Chennai division. The 155th DRUCC meeting held in the city recently and chaired by the Chennai Divisional Railway Manager Ganesh brought to the fore the demands for passenger amenities of installing escalators, foot overbridges  (FOB), stoppages of express trains and other amenities. A total of 12 representatives of various commuters associations and nominees participated in the meeting. 

The residents and commuters of Pattabhiram have been requesting for a subway to connect north with south sides of the Pattabhiram railway station (similar to the one at Nemilichery station), provision of new crossing train halt at the Pattabhiram siding station and installation of fans at Kadambathur. These requests were put forward by A. Abdul Hameed, member of the DRUCC. 

Mr. Hameed thanked railway authorities for immediately taking steps to provide fans in the platforms of Kadambathur railway station. He said the railway officials have informed that the subway could be considered based on cost sharing terms and the train halt would also implemented after inspecting the station. 

Similarly, K. Jayapaulraj, representing the Consumer Federation of Tiruvallur district, put forth demands for stoppages of nine additional express trains, extension of the Katpadi to Arakkonam passenger train to Tiruvallur, shelters installed in all six platforms, construction of a subway, restoring of two shifts of the passenger reservation counter instead of one shift, and lift facilities to be provided in platforms 1 and 6. 

Railway activist Bhaskar said the Tiruvallur railway station has a historic connection to the first train service operated from Royapuram railway station. Also being the district headquarters, the railway station has remained neglected with respect to request for halting of express trains. He said the railway station, though not announced as any terminal like Tambaram, is the suburban rail terminal for the western corridor and has good rail infrastructure for giving a stoppage for express trains. Despite this the railway authorities have rejected the demands of the commuters. 

A senior official of Chennai division of the Southern Railway said the DRUCC is a consultative body whose members put forward their feedback and demands for better passenger amenities and more train services, which would be looked into and based on the genuineness of the demand and feasibility aspects, the division would take up the work and those that would not come under their preview, would be forwarded to the Headquarters. 

He said since the meeting had concluded just a few weeks back, the meeting minutes would be circulated this week. “We shall then see which of the demands can be carried forward,” he added. 

Regarding the demand for stoppages for additional express trains at Tiruvallur station, the railway official said at present express trains are given stoppages but giving stoppages to more trains would delay the operation of other express trains. Besides giving stoppages in suburban sections is discouraged as frequency of connecting trains are high.

While the DRUCC has 12 members, commuters rue the committee loaded with nominees of the western section with no representatives to highlight the issues of the Tambaram/Chengalpattu, Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) and Gummidipoondi sections.


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Printable version | Oct 5, 2022 9:12:27 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/railway-commuters-associations-pitch-for-more-passenger-amenities-in-drucc-meeting/article65775175.ece