Chennai: Railways is on the fast track when it comes to providing passenger facilities. This is evident in the suburban section in Chennai as infrastructure keeps improving. Most stations in the Chennai Beach-Tambaram-Chengalpet section are becoming commuter-friendly.
Incidentally, the absence of properly maintained washrooms in most stations was an issue that worried people no end and following a court order the authorities have swung into action to ensure that things are set right.
That apart, drinking water has now been made available at most stations while additionally amenities including phone-charging facilities are being set up now.
Ganesh Sridhar, a techie in Chennai, was involved in an important conversation at Egmore Railway stations while waiting for a local train when his mobile’s battery conked off. Now that will be a thing of the past as charging units have been set up at almost all stations for the benefit of passengers.
That is not all, senior citizens need not struggle while climbing or descending stairs as metal railings have been attached to the sidewalls of the FOB at Guindy.
A Railway official said water vending machines were installed at Central Railway station keeping in view the summer heat. Commuters can buy 300 ml of cold drinking water for just Re 1 while five litres would cost Rs 25 at these kiosks that have come up on the platforms.
The initiative, implemented under the public private partnership (PPP) model by IRCTC across several railway stations in Southern Railway will have 13 kiosks at Chennai Central alone. Presently, two water vending machines have been installed, providing water processed through the reverse osmosis system.
A total of 381 water vending machines would be installed at several railway stations, it is learnt. Egmore station will also have kiosks offering chilled water, Railway sources said.
Another senior official said suggestions from passengers to instal electric plug hole units started pouring in for the last few years. And that is how they have installed them in most of the local train stations falling in Beach-Tambaram line about two to three months ago.
Kodambakkam, Guindy, Egmore, Chetpet are among those that would have the facility.
"The things become more difficult during peak hours when rush of commuters makes it difficult for us," says A Ramanathan, an elderly commuter at Guindy.
The other welcome move is laying of cement platforms surrounding the base of metal rods holding the stations’ roof at Guindy Station. These will serve as an additional seating facility for people.