Madurai MP alleges train platform changed for the sake of Railway Board member

MP Venkatesan said that the incident at Chennai Egmore station reminded him of ‘colonial era’ practice of disturbing thousands of passengers for the sake of one officer and deemed it unacceptable.
Madurai MP and CPI (M) leader S Venkatesan
Madurai MP and CPI (M) leader S Venkatesan
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Madurai MP S Venkatesan, on Friday, November 17, alleged that the Southern Railways allotted a different platform to Pandian Express at the Chennai Egmore station solely to facilitate a railway officer to board a special train. The MP alleged that it was done so in order for Railway Board Member (Infrastructure) Roop Narayan Sunkar to board his special train without climbing the escalator. While the Southern Railways responded to Venkatesan’s allegations stating that the concerned platform was occupied with other trains, it has now deleted the post.

In his letter dated November 17, MP Venkatesan said that the incident reminded him of ‘colonial era’ practice of disturbing thousands of passengers for the sake of one officer and deemed it unacceptable. 

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“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 the colonial era practice of disturbing thousands of passengers for the sake of one officer. This is unacceptable and no one is empowered to destroy democratic credentials of the Nation,” he said. 

He called for a probe into the incident and said officials should be advised not to resort to such practices for pleasing some individuals.

In the now deleted post, Southern Railways had responded stating that the platform was occupied with other trains. According to a The New Indian Express report, Singh had responded saying that Charminar Express, Pothigai Express, and Pearl City had departed from the fourth platform between 6 pm and 8.40 pm, keeping it occupied. He had also added that Pandian Express had departed from the fifth platform earlier in the day, and was scheduled on the same platform to avoid confusion.

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