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Pazhavanthangal stn poses risks to public sans lights and CCTVs
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.
Being one of the oldest railway stations in the suburbs, Pazhavanthangal railway station lacks several basic facilities and security for passengers during the night.
The station was inaugurated in 1968 and was well developed when compared to other stations in the suburbs during that time. The station has two foot overbridges and a subway which makes commuting convenient for the public.
As per the railway sources, the station records a footfall of around 12,000 every day and most of the commuters, who get down at Pazhavanthangal, are first-class passengers. Commuters from Pazhavanthangal, Nanganalur, Thillai Ganga Nagar, Nehru Colony, Kannan Colony, Joseph Colony and many other residential areas use the railway station regularly. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) officers’ quarters, Air India quarters and CISF quarters are also situated within the locality. The area also has private schools and a star hotel.
Commuters said that the subway in the station has no proper lighting and they could not travel safely during nights. They also added that torchlight from the mobile phone is the only source of light while passing through the subway. Additionally, the path leading to the subway has no shelter, due to which it becomes difficult to use the subway when it rains.
The station does not have proper restrooms, too. While there are two movable restrooms placed in the station, they are locked mostly and not maintained properly. Even those restrooms are not placed properly with both male and female restrooms located very close to each other.
The commuters also complained that though there are speakers, no train announcements have been made so far. Besides, the third and fourth platform, which are situated at the far end of the station, have no lights. V Rajesh, a commuter said, “ I have seen men sitting in the dark and involving in illegal activities.” Another woman commuter said that she is scared to be at the station at night since there is no RPF personnel on duty at night”.
Sources said that a few years ago, on New Year’s Eve, a group of drunk youngsters barged into the station and damaged all 97 tube lights there. “Even after that incident, CCTV cameras were not fixed in the station,” Rajesh complained.
However, a railway official associated with the station said that developments were being made and that it was an ongoing process. St Thomas Mount RPF Inspector Ak0ber Ali said, “The RPF strength is very low to cover all the stations and there are many vacancies yet to be filled. Once all the vacancies are filled we will able to cover all the stations at the same time.”
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