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Tuesday, 15 July, 2008

Passenger-friendly Platforms @ Central Station

Passenger-friendly Platforms @ Central Station

I've had the opportunity to see the evolution of Central station, Chennai over the years. For at least the past 3-4 decades, it used to become increasingly difficult for passengers, especially senior citizens, to navigate the platforms without the assistance of the omnipresent (and, most unfortunately, omnipotent - at least within the precincts of the railway stations) porters.

Hence, it was indeed a most pleasant surprise a few days back when I had the occasion to catch a train at Chennai Central Station for a whole host of reasons:

  • Firstly, the platforms were surprisingly spic and span
  • Secondly, the floors of the platforms were smooth without being slippery, enabling people to use their trolleys
  • Porters were still available for those who needed them, and a few of them whom I approached were actually polite and courteous - both in absolute terms and in relative terms in comparison with the (in)famous Autowallas of Chennai
  • Quality of food & beverages - have certainly improved beyond recognition vis-a-vis what used to be available in yester-years
  • The displays of arrival and departures - pretty visible compared to what used to be the case

In the midst of all the Public-sector battering that is increasingly fashionable in these "post-reform" years, here's another example of what can be achieved by the public sector folks with the right kind of leadership, motivation and a bit of competition (in this case from both the inter-city buses and low cost airlines).

Certainly brought a big beaming smile on my face.

Thanks a ton to all the folks who made it feasible.