Even as a major facelift is being given to Tiruchi railway junction aimed at improving its ambience and augmenting amenities, lack of coach indication boards on Platform no. 3 is causing huge hardship to travellers.
The problem is acutely felt by senior citizens and women who have to rush towards their respective compartments carrying their luggage upon arrival of an express train on the platform.
While Platform nos. 1 and 2, where many Chennai and south-bound express trains arrive, have been provided with coach indication boards, the same facility is absent on Platform no. 3.
This is where the newly introduced Madurai-Chennai Tejas Express arrives.
The evening hour on Platform no. 3 teems with passengers waiting to board Tejas Express, which has automatic doors that open only after the train comes to a halt at Tiruchi junction.
Travellers waiting to board the train on Platform no. 3 are virtually clueless as to the exact location of their respective coach till the arrival of the express train. They are forced to enquire with employees manning eatery stalls on the platform or the co-traveller to ascertain the exact position of their coach.
In the absence of this facility, passengers position themselves at convenient places on the platform on the assumption that their coach would stop near the spot where they wait with their luggage even as the message is announced through the public address system that the express train has automatic doors that open only after the arrival of the train.
It will also be no exaggeration to state that the brief stoppage time of Tejas Express at Tiruchi junction causes extreme anxiety to passengers, especially senior citizens.
The absence of coach indication boards forces some passengers to board any vestibule coach that stops near where they are standing with their luggage and make their way to their coach inside upon boarding.
At a time when funds are being pumped in by the railway administration to improve the ambience of station and its circulating areas, lack of coach indication boards on Platform no. 3 where a premimum train like Tejas Express with good patronage arrives is causing problems, say travellers.
“Coach indication boards are a necessity today as it helps passengers to wait at the exact spot before the arrival of the train and board their respective coach with ease instead of having to rush towards their compartment with their luggage,” says S.A. Mubashir, joint secretary, Tiruchi Tourism Federation.
“When the railways is spending a huge amount of money on beautification and improving the facility at Tiruchi junction, a basic facility such as coach indication boards should definitely be looked into as a priority by the railway administration. The absence of this facility turns to be an ordeal for senior citizens and women with children while boarding any express train that arrives on this platform,” says Mr. Mubashir.
If coach indication boards cannot be provided, the railway administration should at least place a coach position board at the spot where passengers enter Platform no. 3 by taking the steps, or the elevator, to know the sequence of their compartment’s location, suggests Mr. Mubashir.
The railway administration is currently carrying out a slew of works at a cost of ₹27 crore under the end-to-end Station Redevelopment Project at Tiruchi Junction, which includes construction of Platform no. 8.
(source : The Hindu)