I am a regular commuter in the MRTS in Chennai. I find it the best and most convenient way to reach my office in ELNET (Opp. Tiruvanmiyur Station) on a weekday.

Observing the MRTS for the past one year, I wonder about the negligence of the Railway Authorities. Most of the Stations on the Phase II (Tirumailai to Tiruvanmiyur) & Phase III (Tiruvanmiyur to Velacherry) are half-completed and in pathetic state. Stations like Indra Nagar have lot of structural work incomplete. Most stations do not have proper approach on both sides. Only one Ticket Counter at one end of the station is operational.

Rains make it horrible – even in stations like Tiruvanmiyur, where partonage is very high, water literarily pours from the gaps in roof.

But the Railway Authorities are not worried about this. They are busy with construction of a new station between Light House and Tirumailai Stations. Rationally behind this – distance between the stations is 2KMs and there was request from public for a station in middle.

Now, everybody is forgetting the RAPID part of MRTS (Mass Rapid Transport System). Most of the stations in this route are so closeby that the trains are not able to reach top speed. (Most stations are less than 1KM apart). People travelling through this route daily can easily observe that some stations that are close to another do not have sufficient partonage.

Adding one more station in the existing route will only add to the travel time and cause more inconvenience to the travelling public. My personal opinion is stations need to be separated by sufficient distance so that the travel is fast from end-to-end. Most other intra-city rail systems have this concept – be it Chennai Suburban EMU services or Mumbai Suburban EMU services. In Mumbai, along the western line, the 1st 4 stations from Churchgate are closer to each other than other stations, but the partonage in all these stations is always high, making it viable to have the stations.

Moreover the location of the new station is debatable – access to the station is tough through the slums.

It would be wise if Railways first complete the works at all the existing stations and provide all the facilities required for the passengers, instead of wasting it on a new station that is not required.

Phase IV – extension to St. Thomas Mount is proposed. But with lack of focus and directions, precious resources and money is wasted. Then we will hear the fimiliar statement – Project is delayed because of insufficient funds.

Will the railway see the logic behind having fast and efficient MRTS which will attract more people travelling from long distance and ensure continued partonage to the system….

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