Clean railway stations are one of the major objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission and the Railways launched Swachh Rail Campaign way back in 2015 to rate railway stations based on the cleanliness status.
As railway stations falling under A-1 and A categories are taken into account for the Swachh Rail Campaign, suburban stations which fall under category C are ignored by the officials.
One such neglected station, despite being in the heart of the city, is the Park railway station. The footfall here on daily basis is more or less the same as MGR Chennai Central and Egmore railway station as it is used by both local commuters and those who reach the MGR Central from outstations. However, there is not even a toilet facility in the station. “One has to either walk up to Park Town railway station and cross the Poonamallee high road to reach Moore Market Complex railway station to get access to pay-to-use toilets. So, men use the pathway to take a leak or run between the tracks to attend nature’s call. One cannot walk the stretch without closing their nostrils,” said Kamatchi, who sells flower outside the station.
What is worse is that waste generated by the two eateries adjacent to the main entrance of the Park station is dumped behind the building, which is the entrance to various engineers’ offices of Railways. “The waste lies uncleared for days together, emanating a strong unbearable stench,” said another passenger who uses the station daily to reach office. The stretch is also used by men to smoke and workers to consume alcohol in broad daylight, causing inconvenience to passengers. All this happens at a spot where Swachh Bharat’s signature logo of Mahatma Gandhi has been painted. Maybe, they are encouraged by the fact Gandhiji is facing other side. Railway authorities were not available for their comment.