CHENNAI: After facing flak for cancellation of trains at the eleventh hour during the first phase of yard upgrading works that took place in May at the Arakkonam railway station, the railway administration has transferred the chief engineer of the construction wing, who headed the project.
According to official sources, R P Nirala, Chief Engineer of Construction (West), Southern Railway, was transferred to Kerala a recently. He was allegedly transferred over the poor planning for the yard upgrading, which had resulted in cancellation of several express trains at the last minute.
On April 20, the Chennai division of the Southern Railway announced that 967 local and express train services were cancelled in the Chennai - Arakkonam section to facilitate yard upgrading works between April 21 and May 6. The Railways also stated that train services would be disrupted only for a few hours.
However, as against the official announcement, all express trains operated in the Chennai-Arakkonam suffered a delay of three to four hours. Many passengers could not take the government exams and other state students also faced hardship as they could not participate in NEET due to the train delay. Suburban EMU train services were also completely cancelled for a few days.
On May 5, the Lalbaugh Express, Kovai Express and Shatabdi Express are short-terminated at Katpadi and Walajah. And, many express trains were cancelled one or two days before the departure dates.