Foot overbridge in Pallavaram railway station needs attention

The number of people travelling in suburban electric trains between Tambaram and Chennai Beach has been on the rise with each passing day. The increasing patronage for suburban electric trains was visible after the steep raise in bus fares. However, the quality of basic amenities provided by the Southern Railway leaves a lot to be desired.

Be it the average time spent by the commuters on getting a journey ticket, or the basic facilities on the platforms of railway stations on the Chennai Beach-Tambaram-Chengalpattu sector, or hygiene and sanitation around the stations, a lot needs to be improved, feel commuters.

Take for instance, the Pallavaram railway station. The approach leading to the foot over bridge is in a complete mess. The foot over bridge lacks a roof on the western side.

The flooring is uneven and senior citizens tend to trip and fall. Some commuters also point out to the gaping space between the safety grilles, stating it was a potential risk for children. During the morning and evening rush hours, there is a scamper for space on the flight of steps leading to the platform as there is a huge crowd waiting at the counters on the platform to get their tickets. The public toilet is in operation at the southern end of the platform.

However, the paper and plastic waste is dumped in the space between the platform and the toilet.

Though the space around the railway station is well protected with the installation of steel fences, many school children squeeze through the narrow gap between the fence to avoid using the foot overbridge.

High risk zone

The stretch between Pallavaram and Chromepet railway stations and Pallavaram and Tirusulam railway stations in the opposite direction is a high risk zone, accounting for a large number of deaths caused due to trespass.

Commuters do complain that problems are not just restricted to the Pallavaram railway station, but many other railway stations too were neglected.

According to the commuters, availability of safe and protected drinking water is one issue, which the administration had failed to provide.

The Southern Railway gets a lot of revenue through advertisements – signboards on foot overbridges, platforms and other properties belonging to it. But the same properties are poorly maintained.

The money the Southern Railway earned has to be pumped back directly for the comfort of the travelling commuters and proper upkeep basic amenities, commuters told Downtown.

Even the railway colony and its sprawling ground in East Tambaram, is in such a pathetic condition. While the Southern Railway has been embarking on massive and ambitious programmes, it has to focus equally on improving the quality of amenities for its commuters.

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