Chennai Central receives a Quick Clean-up before Panel visit

Chennai (MAS): Central railway station was hastily cleaned up on Tuesday after a four-member passenger amenities committee caught officials off guard during a surprise visit to Egmore and Chennai Beach stations on Monday.

By the time the committee members arrived at Central on Tuesday, everything was in order. The usual stench was absent and a low-priced restaurant on platform two looked spic and span. Platforms had been swept, bleaching powder sprinkled liberally on tracks and taps at the drinking water kiosk were clean and shiny.

The team didn’t find anything amiss expect for a few abandoned trolleys blocking passengers’ path on a platform.

“Central station is better because it is a major station and there are facilities for maintenance. Beach railway station was dirty and officials told us there was no water for cleaning. I will speak to the municipal corporation to provide water if that is the reason,” committee chairman Chalavadi T Narayanaswamy said.

The committee visited about 100 stations in 17 states and found “varied practices adopted by different zones for cleanliness”. “At some stations there is mechanised cleaning,” he said, adding that they would recommend mechanised cleaning of station .

He said railways had received complaints about discourteous behaviour and over-charging by licensed porters. “I have instructed officials to issue laminated photo identity cards with a rate list on the back. They should pin it on their shirts,” he said.

He said there was no shortage of funds to improve passenger amenities. “We will recommend collecting a 1% or 2% passenger amenities cess. This will solve the problem of fund crunch if any.”

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