Chennai: Drug stores at Egmore, Central stations

Pharmacies to be opened in 4 months

Chennai: Popping a pill or looking out for a drug store is the last thing one would want to do before starting a train journey, more so if he or she were at Chennai Central or Egmore station. This is because both stations do not have a drug store on campus. Adding to travellers agony, Central does not have a drug store anywhere in its vicinity. Do not worry. Things are to change soon. Southern Railway (SR) will soon open a pharmacy at the landmark stations that easily record a footfall of around 2 lakh passengers per day.

A tender will be floated shortly. A senior railway official requesting anonymity told Deccan Chronicle that the proposal had been accepted in principle and the tender would be finalised and pharmacy opened in four months. Strangely, this is not the first time SR attempts to open pharmacies at the major stations. Twice in the past railway officials invited bids, but the stringent eligibility norms proved to be an undoing.

In the past, SR had insisted on bidders (with five-year experience in running pharmacies) having a general physician with five-year experience along with the drug store. Five-year was the minimum eligibility period to qualify for the bid as per the earlier bid conditions.

However, railways has now de-linked the doctor-pharmacy condition and decided to float separate tender for the pharmacy. ”We have de-linked the doctor and pharmacy condition after realising that the link was deterring bidders. Now tender will be floated only for the pharmacy,” the official explained.

A pharmacy is most likely to come up on the MMC side where a Jan Ahaar outlet operates now or in the old concourse area in front of platforms 3 to 6. At Egmore, the drug store may be opened on platform No. 4. The drug control norms and space availability are being studied. “Separate medical facilities opened by private hospitals are available at Central and Egmore. So why do we need a doctor? A pharmacy will do,” another officer explained.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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