Washermenpet Station brings joy to all

Dhobi Ghat? A string of wet clothes, by no means an unusual sight at the railway station. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Dhobi Ghat? A string of wet clothes, by no means an unusual sight at the railway station. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan


Washermenpet railway station has something to offer everyone. A short cut for pedestrians. A playground for children. A place to hang wet clothes to dry. The only people who have any complaints about it are the commuters, says D. Madhavan

Every day, a group of women spend nearly an hour at the platform of Washermenpet railway station where suburban trains stop. They are not hawkers. They wait to dry washed clothes on a row of concrete slabs meant for commuters .

These women are not the only trespassers at the railway station.

The platforms often serve as playground for the children from the neighbourhood. A sign of the sporting activity is the broken lights in the steel frames that hang from the asbestos-topped roof of the railway station. In fact, many tube lights have gone missing with only the vacant steel frames reminding that tube lights once glowed there.

For pedestrians, the railway station is an easy and short route to reach Mint Road from interior areas of Washermenpet.

Lack of basic amenities at the station, including drinking water, toilets and electronic digital boards to announce arrival and departure of trains, is the other problem. Many concrete slabs meant for seating are damaged. Seepage of rain water on the platform is common as many portions of the asbestos sheet which forms the roof are broken. Loads of garbage from the neighbourhood are dumped behind the platform where suburban trains stop. “The dirt and unhygienic condition of the station is a cause of concern for commuters. Many women say they are scared of boarding trains from the station due to anti-socials loitering around the station,” said K. Vasudevan, a commuter from Villivakkam. It gets worse after sunset as miscreants take over the premises for illegal activities, including gambling and consumption of liquor. On occasions, the miscreants get into drunken brawls with the commuters. Many chain-snatching cases have also been reported at the station. Women commuters are scared of boarding trains from the station at night.

Every day, commuters from the neighbourhood including Korukkupet, Mint, MKB Nagar, Old Washermenpet and Kodungaiyur board trains at the station, which operates around 240 suburban services between Chennai and Arakonnam. “Steps would be taken to give a facelift to the station soon,” said a railway official.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 5:54:14 AM |

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