Commuter inconvenience: Poor connectivity leaves commuters in quandary at Athipattu Pudhunagar

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.
Commuter inconvenience: Poor connectivity leaves commuters in quandary at Athipattu Pudhunagar

Chennai

The hundreds of residents living in Athipattu Pudhunagar and the neighbourhood are solely dependent on the suburban network, as there is no bus facility connecting them to the city. However, the poor frequency of trains from the station has left them struggling, say regular commuters, adding that they are also facing issues like lack of safety due to the absence of Railway Police personnel, and lack of absence of drinking water and toilet facilities.

“There is no bus facility in this locality. Earlier, there were two buses from Broadway, but now they have stopped them too. Now, we have to use only train to reach Ennore and from there we have to take another bus to reach other parts of the city. However, the connectivity is so poor that there is only one train per hour during the peak time, while it goes down further during other times. We often have to wait for two to three hours,” said Thyagarajan M, a resident of Athipattu Pudhunagar.

Making life more difficult for them, there are no announcements made when the train would arrive, because of which the passengers are often caught unaware when it actually reaches the station, he said, adding that they have complained to the station in-charge but were yet to get any proper reply or assurance.

Personnel from Railway police are posted at the station, but the commuters allege that it is grossly inadequate. As a result, there is no safety for the public at night, especially for women commuters. “The personnel come to the station only once a week at 10 pm. There is no safety in the evening, as the men in the locality get drunk and disturb the women at the station. It was after frequent complaints to Railway officials that the police started coming once a week,” said Purushothaman G, another resident.

The station does not have a single bin inside its premise to dump the waste, resulting in garbage being littered everywhere. Till a few days ago, there was no digital clock in the station as is mandatory. The clock has been fixed now. However, commuters pointed out that it is not working. The public announcement system, which is also mandatory for railway stations, is by and large inoperative.

The work on building toilets for men and women are in progress. There now is only one toilet, but even that remains locked all through the day. That is not all. There is no water facility in the station. And the facility does not have any ramps, due to which differently-abled passengers struggle to get inside crossing the track or using the stairs. When asked, the station master of Athipattu Pudhunagar said they, too, had complained about RPF presence in the station. However, there are not enough personnel to be posted in the station every day. “There is no schedule for the arrival of trains so we cannot make the announcement,” addedthe official.
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