MRTS stations unsafe, say passengers

Anti-social elements occupy unutilised space on the huge premises

August 23, 2015 08:41 am | Updated March 29, 2016 05:00 pm IST - CHENNAI:

CHENNAI: 22/08/2015: Dark side of Chintadripet MRTS railway station, on Saturday. Photo : R. Ravindran.

CHENNAI: 22/08/2015: Dark side of Chintadripet MRTS railway station, on Saturday. Photo : R. Ravindran.

Even as the 24-year-old woman who was attacked inside an MRTS station at Kasturba Nagar on Thursday evening is recovering at the Government General Hospital, commuters feel that Southern Railway and Chennai Corporation have to do a lot to improve security at railway stations.

Around 6.30 p.m. on Thursday, Manimala was attacked inside the lift of the MRTS station with a sharp weapon.

While some commuters stress the need to improve police presence, others blame the building design for the lack of security.

The stations on the elevated corridor are the most dangerous, say police officers.

“The stations are huge and when the space is not utilised, antisocial elements will occupy the space. Ideally, the infrastructure should be to board and alight from the trains and book tickets. Only long-distance trains need facilities such as a waiting area,” said K. Thapa, a student who uses the MRTS frequently.

A few felt that the Chennai Corporation should improve the lighting and install more CCTV cameras. “Most of the stations are in prime locations. Railways can let out the excess space on rent to shops and other vendors and clear the road from encroachments. Some parts can be altered and used as car parking,” adds Smitha Ramanujam, a resident at Triplicane.

Space utilisation

Police sources feel that some space can be used to house a few departments of Railways. “I have seen it at Tirumailai station. A portion can also be used as barracks for the police and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel like it is done at Chintadripet,” an officer said.

Senior Railways officials said that the unused areas would be blocked soon. “There are problems, and we will rectify them soon,” an official said.

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