Vaishali R Venkat
The suburban electric trains in the Tambaram-Beach sector are really a boon, for hordes of office-goers, school and college students and the general public going to the city every day. But the comfort of the commuter is given little importance. Be it buying tickets, drinking water facilities, sanitation or other basic requirements at the stations, particularly the suburban ones, they all leave much to be desired. As the number of commuters keeps on peaking as days go by, there is no dearth of their complaints over amenities For instance the approach road to Pallavaram foot-over-bridge (FOB) is in a bad state. Elderly tripping over the uneven flooring is an everyday common scene. Added to this discomfort the FOB has no roof on the western side. S. Kamakshi, a senior citizen and a regular commuter, says that the moment she gets down from the train at the Pallavaram station, the problem of climbing the FOB, stares boldly at her face. “The very thought is harrowing. Incessant prayers till we cross over without tripping over is an everyday arduous task. ” A woman commuter with a kid says she is always afraid of using the bridge as she with her kid is always pushed to the margin and exposed to the danger of the grill fences. Hence, she prefers inching forward in the middle of the multitude, no matter the brushes, pushes, punching and pulling. Even a few other commuters lament the bad maintenance of the safety grills, and say that they are afraid of the risks that it poses for children. Especially during rush hours, commuters sprint to catch the train, unmindful of the children.
This explains why a large number of school children avoid using the bridge and instead, squeeze themselves out through the steel fences installed around the railway station.
The problem hardly ends with this. As for the toilet located at the end of the platform, the less said, the better. One of the regular commuters said that additional ticket counters must be opened as there is no ample space for the commuters to stand in the queue. “At night, the situation is even worse, as there are no adequate lights,” he said. When this reporter spoke to Mr. Ramanujam, a senior citizen, he looked indignant and avoided to comment further, after a terse statement that nothing has been done so far even after the same issue has been published several times in newspapers.
As the number of commuters keeps increasing, there is no dearth of complaints over amenities