STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Restricting men from trains illogical, say Chennai commuters

Women passengers, though they reach stations at 4.30 pm, are forced to wait till 7 pm as  their male companions are not allowed to travel.

Published: 11th January 2021 04:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2021 04:54 AM   |  A+A-

chennai suburban trains , chennai trains

Chennai local trains (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The move restricting men from suburban trains during peak hours has drawn flak from commuters and made verbal duels between passengers and railway staff an everyday affair at stations in Chennai and its suburbs. Apart from men, women, who are accompanied by men, too have expressed their inconvenience. Women passengers, though they reach stations at 4.30 pm, are forced to wait till 7 pm as  their male companions are not allowed to travel.

Barring those engaged in essential services, men are not allowed to travel from 7 to 9.30 am and from 4.30 to 7 pm. S Sangeetha of Chengalpattu, a school teacher, said she reached Mambalam station with her friend at 4.35 pm on Saturday, but waited for nearly two and a half hours before boarding a train.

“The railways policy will benefit only women travelling alone and those accompanied by female relatives. It’s not only discriminatory, but also illogical to restrict men from taking trains during peak hours.”
Many college students and working men rued that the travel restriction is as good as denying travel on suburban trains entirely.

“The end-to-end travel time of suburban stretches — Chennai Beach-Chengalpattu, Chennai-Arakkonam and Chennai-Gummidipundi — is 120 minutes. If we are not allowed to travel during peak hours, we will have to choose either reserved express specials or buses. The resumption of suburban train services hardly benefits us since we are not allowed to take the trains between 7 am and 9.30 am,” said a college student.

After the lockdown was enforced last March, suburban specials were rechristened and introduced as ‘workmen special’ in April for ferrying railway employees to carry out essential maintenance work. As the lockdown norms were eased, more railways staff were allowed on the special trains. Since October 5, the railways started allowing transportation of essential service employees nominated by the State government.

On October 23, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote to Railways Minister Piyush Goyal urging him to resume suburban services. Presently, 660 services are operated on suburban routes. A senior railway official said, “The decision to allow men during peak hours is yet to be approved by Railway Board. We are awaiting instructions.”

Ticket counters not opened in Egmore Rail passengers said ticket counters at the main entrance of the Chennai Egmore station on the Gandhi-Irwin Road remain closed although suburban stretches are open for transportation. Passengers entering the station through the main entrance were forced to walk to the other end of the station on EVR Salai to buy tickets. “Railway staff at the main ticket counters were forced to sit idle without any work,” said a passenger.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp