Hundreds of passengers who were stranded at Central, Egmore, Gudur, Renigunta and Katpadi stations due to cancellation and diversion of trains following heavy rain, received help from many unexpected quarters: residents and volunteers of welfare associations.
A majority of the stranded passengers in the city’s railway stations had travelled from destinations in the south like Rameswaram and Nagercoil; they had to take connecting trains to northern parts of the country . Hundreds got stuck at Renigunta, Gudur and Katpadi after trains to Chennai were discontinued at these stations. Volunteers distributed food packets and guided passengers to the correct trains.
More than 5,000 passengers are still stranded at Central and Egmore, a majority of whom are pilgrims.
Ashok Rajpurohit of Tamil Nadu Rajasthan Pravasi Ekta Sangh said, “We sent four teams to Egmore and Central railway stations and distributed food packets and water bottles. Passengers are sleeping at the station’s concourse waiting for train services to become normal. Railways has also cancelled trains to Bhubaneshwar and Guwahati. This will affect more people, espe cially migrant labourers returning home.“
“It was difficult for firsttime passengers to find connecting trains to Chennai. It took a passenger two days to reach Chennai from Vijayawada, because he was unable to find the right train after Navjeevan Express was cancelled a few days ago,“ Ashok said.
On Thursday , volunteers from Kences Construction distributed 2,500 food packets at Central. Many stranded travellers said the relief and guidance came in handy .
Southern Railway is operating a helpline and is also making announcements to guide passengers at stations from where trains are either cancelled or diverted.