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Updated: June 30, 2012 03:15 IST

Stinking subway greets air passengers

K. Manikandan
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Miscreants often consume liquor in the subway at night. Photo: K.Manikandan
The Hindu
Miscreants often consume liquor in the subway at night. Photo: K.Manikandan

“Welcome. Chennai Airport,” announces a fading greeting painted on the walls of the pedestrian subway. A few hundred metres away, a world-class facility for air passengers is under construction. The pathway leading to the airport from Tirusulam railway station, however, offers passengers nothing but foul smell and dust.

A pedestrian subway built at a cost of nearly Rs. 5 crore has a lift that has not been working since 2009 after rain water flooded it and damaged pumps and other equipment. One end of the subway is also a gathering point for miscreants who consume liquor after dusk. The gut-wrenching smell of urine is the first thing that greets the unsuspecting traveller who enters the subway to access the suburban electric train services of the city.

Air passengers, visitors, employees of government and private agencies at the airport are unhappy over the maintenance of amenities around the airport. “ It is especially punishing for senior citizens who make the mistake of using the subway when its lift is not working,” said Yakub Basha of Vellore District, who unfortunately, was returning to his hometown after missing a flight at the airport.

Once a traveller negotiates the perilous subway and reaches the railway station, she has to climb another 20 steps to get a train ticket getting a journey ticket. “Facilities at Hyderabad and Bengaluru are better. Amenities in Chennai are just alright, but whatever there is, has to be maintained well,” said Vivek Kulkarni, working in a private company in the city.

S.Lakshmanan, an employee in the airport, said young women on their way back home after work are often subject to harassment inside the subway by men who were under the influence of liquor. “My friend and I were witness to a group of flight stewardesses being nearly roughed up three months ago by a couple of drunken men. We chased the men away, but the women were still in a state of shock,” recalled Mr. Kishore.

The pedestrian subway was pitch dark until a week ago. Now, some of the tubelights are functioning and the paper waste has been removed.

The service lane and also the GST Road towards Tambaram is a very risky zone with absolutely no mechanism in place to keep a check on overspeeding. Motorists give scant regard to the traffic signal at the southern end of the railway station.

More In: Chennai

The government which distributes freebies should make the toilets free with plenty of running water and 24 hours manning it, if this is to be avoided. It is the cost of paying 3 rupees that make the public skip using the toilets. Besides, it has become a culture of sort all over in India. Even in posh clubs the people who stay late for drinks urinate on the lawn. Any one who dirties Public place should be punished severly and all toilets must be free.

from:  B.J.Jayabalan
Posted on: Jun 30, 2012 at 18:44 IST

It is not just the Trishulam Station, but all other stations, especially the MRTS route stations from Beach to Velachery which are massively built spending crores of rupees are in such dilapidated condition that all miscreant activities only happen.It is high time to give attention to keep them in good shape rather than spending high cost in recovering, when it goes into almost a bad state.

from:  Sabarinath
Posted on: Jun 30, 2012 at 13:18 IST

It is worthy to note that, there are subways in peak traffic areas
which are even worse in conditions and with people using them as their
own homes. Many a times people prefer crossing the busy roads without
the Subway to avoid the mess inside.

from:  Ashwin Karthikeyan
Posted on: Jun 30, 2012 at 13:05 IST

Why don't they seal the subway,

from:  Dinakaran
Posted on: Jun 30, 2012 at 09:09 IST

This is just one of the problems at the Chennai airport.
The foul odor in the subway entrance is nothing compared to the toilets in the airport terminal. It is commonplace to be greeted by the odor of uncleaned toilets upon exiting the tarmac and entering the baggage claim area. I have filled the complaint forms and spoken to the staff there multiple times, to no avail.
One more example of 'ugly Indians'. No sense of hygiene or cleanliness in public places that are overstaffed with lazy overpaid public employees.

from:  Swathi
Posted on: Jun 30, 2012 at 06:20 IST
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