Chennai

Subway at Chennai’s Velachery station turns into bathing area

The subway has become a water-filled pool

The subway has become a water-filled pool   | Photo Credit: M. Karunakaran

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Work on the subway, constructed by Southern Railway, has remained incomplete since 2008

The incomplete subway at Velachery railway station increases the risk of accidents to those visiting the area.

Southern Railway had proposed to construct a mini subway to connect the service road to the railway shed and the quarters of the railway station more than a decade ago. The subway was supposed to be used for the exclusive purpose of the railway authorities to transport materials for the railway shed.

However, since the subway work began around 2008, the subway has remained flooded, point out commuters using the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS). At present, railway authorities claim they have completed almost 75% of the work, but the subway remains submerged in water. The water-filled subway is being used for washing clothes and vehicles. Also, a large number of senior citizens and children have a bath or swim in the subway every day.

Residents’ welfare associations said it was short-sightedness on the part of the railway authorities to construct a subway with the draining area of the Pallikaranai marshland close by.

S. Kumararaja, a civic activist, said that given the fact that the railway track had been constructed on an elevated section, a road over-bridge should have been planned, instead of a subway. He said he had never seen the subway dry, without water, in all these years since the construction started. He also complained about the danger of allowing children to swim in the subway.

A senior official of the Southern Railway said they have constructed a pumping station near the subway to drain out water and have also installed temporary barricades by dumping debris at the entrance to prevent the public from using it. Very soon, a compound wall would be constructed, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 7:25:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/subway-at-chennais-velachery-station-turns-into-bathing-area/article30565643.ece

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