Commuters wary of taking the overbridge at station

Even two months after four persons sustained injuries in a collapse of concrete slabs on a foot overbridge in Nungambakam railway station, some of the facilities continue to be in bad shape.

A few sustained minor injuries on Wednesday after a slab on a flight of stairs in the foot overbridge opposite Ripon Building caved in. However, the Railways fixed the problem temporarily on Friday, before major repair works are taken up.

The foot overbridge connects Poonamallee High Road and Chintadripet. Hundreds of commuters use the foot overbridge to reach Anna Salai or Chintadripet from Ponamallee High Road, said N.Ramachandran a commuter. Some of the commuters who have been using the facility have also been found to escape with minor injuries, he added.

“The foot overbridge has been damaged for the past few months. The girders and metal angles seem to be corroded. We feel scared to use the foot overbridge,” said J.Johnson, a resident of Chintadripet.

After the accident on January 6 in Nungambakkam, the Railways had conducted an inspection of the all the 108 facilities in the Chennai Division and found the foot overbridge in good shape. But three of the facilities in Chromepet, Nungambakkam and Pallavaram were found to have visual indication of corrosion. Divisional Railway Manager S.Anantharaman said maintenance work was carried out in such facilities after the survey. “The foot overbridge opposite Ripon Building is to be replaced. A new overbridge will be erected in a month,” he said.

Somasundaram, a commuter who uses the foot overbridge near Ripon Building, said that many of the commuters have been injured but none of them reported them to the Railway officials.

“I have seen railway employees occasionally undertaking repair work at the foot over bridge. But it gets damaged after few days,” said C.Jaganathan, another commuter.

“At night commuters are unable to use the damaged overbridge for want of illumination. They have to take a circuitous route to reach Anna Salai,” said Mr.Jaganathan.

Over 20 foot overbridges across railway lines are in the Chennai Corporation limits.

Many of the flights of stairs of the overbridges are in Corporation land and the civic body issues no-objection certificates for construction of the facilities.


Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012

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