CHENNAI: Raising the pitch against establishing a new rail terminal at Tambaram, the Tamil Nadu Rail Passengers' Rights Tribune has decided to conduct a peace walk in Chennai and other towns across Tamil Nadu, on November 22. The members of the Tribune raised apprehensions that all south-bound express trains, presently operated from Egmore, would be moved to Tambaram, after the terminal, currently under construction, is completed. The movement has gathered momentum after the project was commissioned by the Central Government last year.
"We had conducted awareness programmes in different parts of the state on the inconveniences that commuters are going to face, after this terminal comes up," said Dr S Jayachandran, Convener of the tribune, at a meeting on Tuesday, which was convened to discuss the proposed peace walk. Similar awareness programmes were organised in 25 towns including Sivakasi, Virudunagar, Tirunelveli, Tanjore and Chidambaram over the last few months, he added.
A T B Bose, one of the founding members of the North Chennai People's Federation wondered aloud why the railway authorities chose Tambaram over Royapuram, when adequate land was available for constructing a terminal there, making it a better option.
He said, "If express trains from southern districts are stopped at Tambaram, passengers will experience difficulties in reaching the Chennai Central or Egmore for commuting further north. The distance from Central Station and Egmore to Tambaram is more than 30 kilometres." Railway authorities should take steps to convert Royapuram into a terminal and continue to operate all south-bound long distance trains only from Egmore, he added.
According to the Tribune, Royapuram has the potential to be developed into the third terminal, after Chennai Central and Egmore. The station has large swathes of land spread across 72 acres, in which 16 platforms can be constructed. Parking bays for both public and private transportation can be created in north and south blocks.
Moreover, 16 long distance express trains bound for eastern and western parts of the country are currently passing through the Royapuram railway station and Electric Multiple Units to Gummidipoondi and Arakkonam are operated from Beach railway station, along the same line.
Participating in the meeting, A M Vikramaraja, State president of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu, stated that the traders would support the peace walk.