Railway reservation centre closed down in Tallakulam
The facility, catering to passengers from northern parts of Madurai city, had functioned for over 20 years
A railway passenger reservation system (PRS) centre located at Tallakulam that has been serving the people from northern parts of Madurai city for nearly 23 years was closed down on Tuesday.
A public notice has been put up outside the gate of the PRS centre that was functioning on the Postal Department premises. The notice states that the centre has been shifted to the western entry of Madurai Railway junction.
Railway passengers who were regularly visiting the centre to booking their reservation for train journey had to return disappointed.
“I have been coming here for the last 15 years to book tickets,” said S. Rathinam (89), a retired Tahsildar. A resident of Anna Nagar, Mr. Rathinam said that he found it convenient as the centre was close to his home. “I am a frequent traveller and getting tickets at Tallakulam was a good option,” he said. The elderly man returned home disappointed without booking tickets.
Divisional secretary of Dakshin Railway Employees Union, R. Sankaranarayanan said that the PRS was serving the people since 1997. It was helpful for several educational institutions and government offices, he said. “Students who would get concession for their educational tours would come here to book their tickets,” he added.
Besides, officials of various departments, including the police personnel who would use travel warrants to book tickets also found it easier to come here to book tickets. “We condemn this sudden closure without any prior announcement,” he said.
However, a senior railway official said that the Railway Board had asked the Postal Department to take over the PRS centre and continue to do the booking with its staff on a revenue-sharing basis.
“This is a policy decision taken way back in 2014. Since, then we have been asking the Department of Posts to take over this PRS, like it has done in other towns. But since this has not evoked any positive response, we had to close if after a recent Railway Board circular to close down all the PRS centres functioning outside railway premises,” he added.
The PRS centre that had four counters, has been functioning with two counters till recently. “As part of various austerity measures, we have shifted it. If the Department of Posts comes forward to operate it, we are ready provide all support,” the official added.