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Year in last leg, LCD monitors lie ‘dead’

A defunct LCD monitor at Bhubaneswar railway station. Picture by Ashwinee Patis

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 3: Ordeal of passengers at the railway station here continues as LCD monitors put up for displaying information on arrival and departure of trains are not functioning since January.

East Coast Railway authorities stopped the service after porn clips were aired on the screens for around 10 minutes.

A railway official said the service was yet to start mainly because of the delay in roping in another private agency to run the service. “We have been looking for another agency to run the service. We are also trying to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future,” said a senior railway official.

Passengers are being inconvenienced with 21 LCD monitors across the station not displaying train information and entertainment. The monitors used to telecast news, information and train timings, among other things. At present, the passengers have to depend on the manual enquiry system.

“Though train timings are being announced, the monitors used to be very helpful for the passengers. Apart from train information, cultural programmes beamed on these monitors used to entertain those waiting for trains,” said Mahatab Mallick, a passenger.

Railway sources said the contract for managing CCTV and LCD operations at Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Berhampur was awarded to an agency on June 16 last year. The agency was given a three-year contract for Rs 18.43 lakh.

But the railway authorities terminated the contract on January 15, a day after the porn clips went on air. One person was arrested in the case.

Passengers have demanded resumption of the service. “It was a bad incident, but that does not mean a passenger-friendly service should be stopped. The authorities must resume the service at the earliest,” said Deepak Panigrahi, another passenger.

However, East Coast Railway chief public relations officer R.N. Mohapatra said the authorities were trying their best to resume the service.