Railway panel puts new terminals on fast track

MP T.R. Baalu led committee to prioritise the establishment of terminals at Tambaram and Royapuram.
Chennai: The parliamentary standing committee on railways had to endure a two tough hours on Saturday as gr­oups and NGOs put a barrage of queries along with anecdotes aplenty to expose the glaring shortcomings in passenger safety and inadequacies in rail infrastructure in the state.
From recalling daring chain-snatchings on platform at a suburban station to grueling climbing of staircase at Egmore station by differently-abled tra­velers, the committee headed by DMK MP T.R. Baalu was left red faced by NGO groups that participated in the day-long consultation on suburban train services, with emp­hasis on optimising wo­men passengers safety, org­anised here this morning.
The railway committee which tra­velled in a ladies coach of a Beach-bound EMU from Tambaram to reach the meeting venue to get a grip of suburban experience, had very little to ans­wer about express service and developing infrastructure that req­uired big money.
For inst­ance, Baalu, who bla­med the state government for delay in land procurement for railway projects and financial constraints faced by the Centre, at one instance did not mind saying, “A person from Tamil Nadu should become the railway minister to get required funds for projects in the state.”
Divisional rail users consultative committee member Mohanram, who participated in the consultation, drew the committee’s attention to extending the length of platforms on MMC-Gummidipoondi, MMC-Arakkonam and MM­C-Avadi stretches before attaching 12 car EMUs, which was advised by the committee to the general manager.
Another participant, Am­ba Salekar of Inclusive Planet, a centre for disab­ility, law and policy, urged the committee to upgrade infrastructure to facilitate easy movement of physically challenged in the station premises.
Baalu led committee, which assured to accord top priority to establishing terminals at Tambaram and Royapuram, also res­ponded in the affirmative and advised zone GM Rakesh Misra to install CCTV cameras in ladies coaches on pilot basis to keep anti-social elements at bay. The panel, which took a serious view of distinct lack of RPF personnel at stations, instructed officials to increase police presence in stations.
( Source : dc )
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