Commuters fear poor maintenance of facilities
Badly maintained, often locked – the toilets at the MRTS and suburban rail stations are often a disgrace and soon, metro stations may follow suit. Barring a few, most of the stations may have only one toilet, say the officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). Major stations including Alandur, St. Thomas Mount and Central station may have more than one toilet. However, it may not be possible to build more than one in the rest due to lack of space, said an official.
“At the moment we have not discussed the toilet facilities much. If we have to buy room for this, it would mean more land acquisition and disturbance for more people. Since we offer this provision only for emergency purposes , we think one toilet would do,” he said. It may be free facility and accessible to all. The overall maintenance for housekeeping and cleaning of the metro may be outsourced by CMRL and tenders for this process are likely to be floated soon, he added.
“Several metros abroad don’t have toilets in the stations. So, one toilet in each station would suffice. Moreover, we don’t want people staying for long inside the station. They must come, catch the train and leave quickly,” the official said. However, with each four-car train having a capacity of 1276 persons, the provision of just one toilet in a station may cause difficulties for several passengers.
Quite a few commuters are already very uneasy over the idea. K.N. Anbuselvan(56) is a diabetic and needs to use the bathroom at regular intervals “I have never been able to use the bathrooms in MRTS stations as they are poorly maintained. Even if the facilities in the metro stations are well-maintained, the queues will be very long,” he said. CMRL has acquired a lot of land for the project that costs Rs. 14, 600 crore and obtaining a little more and enhancing basic facilities is a must , he feels.