Madurai MP S Venkatesan says Pandian Express platform changed to accommodate special train for Railway Board Member; GM denies
Venkatesan added that he was one of the thousands of unfortunate passengers, who were left in a state of turmoil.
MADURAI: Madurai MP S Venkatesan has alleged that the southern railways allotted a different platform to Pandian Express, at Chennai Egmore station, to accommodate a special train for a railway officer on November 16. He wrote to General Manager RN Singh, highlighting the passengers’ hassle. Singh, however, maintained that the change was purely on operational grounds.
In his letter dated Friday, Venkatesan said Pandian Express was allotted platform five instead of the usual platform four at Chennai Egmore junction to allegedly facilitate Railway Board Member (Infrastructure) Roop Narayan Sunkar on a special train. Venkatesan added that he was one of the thousands of unfortunate passengers, who were left in a state of turmoil.
“I am shocked to know that the non-allotment of Pandian Express to platform four is not warranted by operational constraints, but to facilitate one single person who is a member of the Infrastructure of Railway board on the special train bound for Rameswaram, without any difficulty of climbing the escalator. His special train departs one hour after Pandian Express. But 1,000 passengers were made to suffer by taking the stairs and escalator. This reminds me of colonial era practice of disturbing thousands of passengers for the sake of one officer. This is unacceptable,” he said in his letter and urged GM Singh to inquire into the matter and advise officials not to please an individual at the cost of thousands of people.
In his reply, posted on X (formerly Twitter), Singh clarified that three trains namely Charminar Express, Pothigai Express, and Pearl City departed from platform number four on Thursday. As a result, the platform was occupied from 6 pm to 8.40 pm.
“Pandian Express has departed from platform no 5 earlier as well. The special train meant for member of the railway board arrived from Chennai Central Station at platform four only at 8.57 pm. Platform four was free at 8.40 pm, and Pandian Express was scheduled to depart at 9.40 pm. With one hour to go for departure and most passengers having boarded the train, it was unsafe to shunt the train back to platform four. Also, there are clear instructions to avoid change of platform at short notice,” Singh added.