Last Updated: March 01, 2023, 15:49 IST
The public announcement system will continue for suburban trains.
Large digital screens have been installed at three entry points of the station.
The 150-year-old Dr MGR Ramachandran Central Railway Station in Chennai went silent on Sunday. The railway station bid adieu to the public announcement system and became the first railway station in India to switch from audio announcements to inquiry booths and visual display boards. The change was announced on Saturday, February 25 by Southern Railway general manager RN Singh.
He stated that all the concerned officials were asked to ensure that all display boards were in working condition and enough staff had been deployed at inquiry booths for a smooth experience for the passenger at the railway station.
Large digital screens have been installed at three entry points: EVR Periyar Salai (MTC bus stop), suburban terminus and Wall Tax Road (gate no. 5). The 40–60-inch huge display screens will have the details of the arrival and departure of the train in Tamil, Hindi and English. They have also been installed in the concourse area.
The public announcement system will continue for suburban trains. This step under experimental basis, a senior official said, “This is being done on a trial basis to check the measures, including the number of additional boards and counters that should be set up.”
The public announcement system was effective in providing information about the train’s schedule and was effective during accidents, delays and natural disasters and for specially abled passengers. To aid them, the station has now installed braille navigation maps at its main entrance. QR codes have also been pasted across the station to gain access to a sign language video.
The new development in the railway station has received a mixed reaction from the passengers. Speaking with The Times Of India, a visually impaired passenger said that the announcements were their support and now he is lost. “We request the railway administration to at least provide us basic assistance,” he added.
A passenger who was heading towards Secunderabad told the media house that the announcements used to be easier. “Now, I must fish out my ticket and check the train number to find the platform,” the passenger added.
While another person hailed the move by the Railways and added, “I noticed the absence of announcements. As an audiologist, I feel this is for the best. It’s quite a calming experience.”
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