Those residing in Tambaram, Pallavaram and Perungalathur were forced to shell out Rs 600 to Rs 800 to get home by cab from the stations in the city.
CHENNAI: Suburban train services on the Chintadripet – Chengalpattu section were cancelled for over four hours on Monday, putting hundreds of commuters at hardship. The worst hit were the passengers, who had arrived at Chennai Egmore, Tambaram and Central stations after celebrating the holidays outside Chennai. Those residing in Tambaram, Pallavaram and Perungalathur were forced to shell out Rs 600 to Rs 800 to get home by cab from the stations in the city.
Chennai division cancelled 41 train services in the south-western suburban section to facilitate maintenance work in the Kodambakkam – Tambaram section between 11 am and 3.15 pm. Despite the railway’s efforts to run special trains every 60 minutes, a significant number of passengers had to use buses and cabs to reach their destinations. The railway’s official spokesperson said certain critical maintenance works, which cannot be carried out at night, were taken up during the holidays.
However, passengers who reached Chennai by Coimbatore intercity, Lalbagh express, Mangaluru mail, Vaigai and Pallavan express and other weekly trains were stranded without connecting trains to reach their destinations. S Sankarlingam of Pammal, who arrived in Chennai city from Coimbatore, said, “Normally, it costs `200 to reach my home from the Pallavaram station.
Today, I spent `800 to reach home from Central, which is more than the fare for an AC chair car seat from Coimbatore to Chennai.” Another passenger, K Robin Singh, who is also a rail enthusiast from Bengaluru, said “Considering technological advancements, the railways or a third-party agency should be involved in providing affordable shared cabs or shuttle services to Tambaram and other areas in the event of train cancellations.
The railways should consider conducting maintenance at night.” According to official data, the Beach – Chengalpattu section carries 5.5 lakh passengers a day with 265 services. The railways announced that the Sunday service pattern was followed in the section on Monday as it was a public holiday. “Work was scheduled on Sunday and Monday as it coincided with holidays. Since this work cannot be carried out at night, the cancellation of services was permitted during the day,” an official explained.