The suburban trains, the arterial network of the city, are the preferred mode of transport for thousands every day. In this series, DT Next will visit all 60 stations for a spot assessment.
The Pallavaram railway station is used by residents of Pammal, Pallavaram, Anagaputhur, Thiruneermalai, Pollichalur, and Pallavaram Cantonment board. According to railway officials, the footfall of the station is about 30,000 every day and it increases substantially on Fridays due to the well-known Friday market in Pallavaram. Besides housing several large private firms, industrial estate, universities, schools and commercial establishments, the area also has Pallavaram and Anagaputhur Municipalities and Thiruneermalai town panchayat, adding to the patronage.
The rail commuters claimed that the station does not have CCTV cameras to monitor the activities taking place in the station. They claim that though the station has been in the news a few years ago after a murder took place there, no CCTV cameras were installed for round-the-clock surveillance.
Talking about this issue, K Rajesh, a regular commuter said, “During the night, we feel unsafe when travelling alone. As there are no CCTV cameras fixed, miscreants who want to commit a crime do not find any deterrents. It would be safer if railways fix CCTV cameras in the station soon.”
Adding to the woes, many traders who travel by EMUs to the Friday market also complained about the lack of digital clocks fixed at the station. They said that they are put to suffer due to this and express that it would be good if at least one or two clocks are fixed at the station. Other commuters also complained that college and school students often bunk classes and are found spending time at the railway station, especially on platforms 3 and 4 which are rarely used. “Sometimes, the students are celebrating birthday parties on platforms,” said V Santhanam, a social activist.
Commuters claim that they are afraid to use restrooms during night as the facilities are located at the rear side of the station and commuters, especially women, are afraid to go there as the area is not easily accessible after nightfall. They wish that the restrooms should be easily accessible.
When contacted, Pallavaram Station Master A Jhanarthanam said, “We will approach higher officials to fix CCTV cameras.” He added that there are not enough RPF personnel and it becomes difficult to warn the students who are bunking their classes and sitting at the station. “We are also working on how the restrooms can we constructed near the platform,” he added.