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Platform, coach position boards planned at Ernakulam stations

Bombarded with complaints of shabby or non-existent passenger amenities at Ernakulam Junction and Town railway stations, Southern Railway has awarded works to install coach position boards at different platforms.

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Bombarded with complaints of shabby or non-existent passenger amenities at Ernakulam Junction and Town railway stations, Southern Railway has awarded works to install coach position boards at different platforms.

Platform-indication boards too will shortly be installed in eastern entry of the two stations, said Ernakulam Area Manager Rajesh Chandran. In the absence of boards that display the platform in which each train will call at, commuters – including handicapped and aged people have to climb the foot overbridge from sixth platform and walk up to entry of first platform where a board is kept. They then have to again climb the foot overbridge and climb down to their platform.

Knowing the position of each coach of a train too is important since commuters now run helter-skelter through the platform to identify and board their coach.

Even worse, a puny “No Enquiries Here” printout stares from ticket counters at commuters at the Ernakulam Junction station, since Railways has failed to post personnel for the purpose at the biggest station in Ernakulam district.

Similarly, only first platform has full roofing, leaving commuters at the mercy of sun and rain on other platforms. Chairs and fans too are inadequate. The situation is similar in Ernakulam Town station too.

Bids awarded

Divisional Railway Manager of Thiruvananthapuram Sunil Bajpai said that the Commercial Wing has awarded the bid to install coach and platform boards. “Around one-third of the space in boards will be let out for advertisements.”

On being told that advertisement boards stare at commuters from every nook and corner of many stations in the region, Mr Bajpai said that this is not a good trend. Moving images on display boards kept at vantage points is an alternative since they need minimal space and can host multiple advertisements, he added.

Reacting to criticism that Ernakulam Junction station has not been elevated to international standards despite promises made in many Railway budgets, he said that the Railway Board had shortlisted the station a few years ago and clear guidelines are awaited from higher ups.