CHENNAI: The facade is getting a fresh coat of paint, a new air-conditioned waiting hall is in place, and toilets have been upgraded at Chennai Central station. But passengers visiting the heritage station are furious that broken chairs remain in the old concourse area.
Several stainless steel chairs have been damaged at the state-of-the-art railway station, resulting in misery for passengers. Kathirvel, a frequent traveller from Salem said he had seen a senior citizen falling down as one of the chairs collapsed.
“The incident happened when I was waiting for my train about 10 days back. An elderly person on the chair slipped and fell after it broke. Fortunately, he was not injured,” he said.
Another passenger, Palaniraja, said poor chairs were adding to the ordeal of inadequate seating. “There are limited number of seats in the old concourse area and several chairs are not usable. This is troubling passengers, particularly senior citizens,” he noted. The over 140-year-old station is used by 3 lakh people every day on an average. As many as 55 pairs of express, mail and passenger trains depart from here.
The station has two concourse areas, with seating problems prevailing largely in the old concourse area. There are around 250 stainless steel chairs that are usable and many are damaged. The station is congested in the evening. “People occupy the floor beyond the waiting area becasue of non-availability of chairs,” observed Kumar, who works in Kerala and was passing through. Passengers with disabilities and those with poor health also face difficulties due to inadequate seating.
When contacted, a Southern Railway official said that steps are being taken to replace the broken chairs with good quality stainless steel ones soon.