North Chennai’s demand for a railway terminal at Royapuram seems to have hit a stumbling block with Southern Railway mulling a station at neighbouring Tondiarpet.
The new development comes after a mention of a railway station at Royapuram missing in this year’s Railway Budget proposal, although it had figured in the previous year’s proposal.
According to reliable sources, the new idea was floated during a meeting of elected representatives to the Parliament, Legislative Assembly and Chennai Corporation with general manager of Southern Railway Rakesh Mishra, held in Chennai on Thursday.
According to sources, senior Southern Railway officials came up with the ‘relocation’ plan citing technical reasons. Quoting authorities, sources said, “A terminal at Royapuram was not feasible as the distance between two road-overbridges at the ends of the proposed railway station would be situated within 500 metres when the mandatory requirement was 1,200 metres.”
Hence, the officials came out with another proposal to develop the Royapuram railway station into a stopover station, paving the way for halting all express trains that run through Royapuram. Presently, over 15 express and mail trains to various parts of the country ply via Royapuram.
“But, we were firm that a terminal must be established only at Royapuram, which is the oldest railway station in Tamil Nadu,” Lok Sabha member from North Chennai T K S Elangovan, who participated in the meeting told Express. “Royapuram is a more convenient location for a railway terminal as it has approach ways on four sides, unlike Tondiarpet that has only one approach road on the western side.”
When contacted, a Southern Railway spokesperson said, in general, final decisions are not taken in such meetings. The meeting dwelled upon the merits and demerits of the proposal, the spokesperson added.