Infrastructure

Lack of space delays widening of Mambalam FOB

The Railways has not been able to find space to create a landing for the staircase on Ranganathan Street — Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM

The Southern Railway is unable to widen the existing foot overbridge for pedestrians at Mambalam railway station as it has not been able to identify enough space to create a landing for a staircase descending on Ranganathan Street.

More than 25,000 people use suburban trains on an average every day. The number swells during weekends when shoppers from as far as Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur arrive here to visit shops on Usman Road and Ranganathan Street. Further, an estimated 1.5 lakh non-rail passengers use the foot overbridge to reach either sides of the station, Southern Railway sources said.

Though there has been a demand from suburban train commuters for a second foot overbridge (FOB) for some years now, the railway administration is unable to even widen the existing one. Security agencies too argue that another facility or widening the existing one is necessary. “The stretch between Mambalam and Guindy is very accident-prone. 75 people were killed in train-related accidents in 2013,” a railway police official said. During rush hours, the bridge becomes so crowded that many commuters, especially young men, prefer to walk along the track and then jump over the compound wall and reach Madley Road on the platform’s southern side.

During a modernisation drive following guage conversion, Southern Railway improved FOBs in Mambalam among other stations more than a decade ago. With the explosion of shops in the prime shopping district, the number of commuters reaching Mambalam has risen phenomenally, sources said.

The railway administration built a second FOB on the northern end of the main line platform a few months ago, but officials express their inability to widen the facility on the suburban platform, citing lack of space in Ranganathan Street.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 11:57:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-infra/lack-of-space-delays-widening-of-mambalam-fob/article6405764.ece

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