Commuter inconvenience: With all facilities on spot at Minjur, rail commuters demand RPF security

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: With all facilities on spot at Minjur, rail commuters demand RPF security

Chennai

Tucked away on the outskirts of the city, the Minjur railway station has over 500 passengers using the premises every day. However, there is hardly any safety in the station and the Railway Police Force (RPF) comes only when a complaint is made by the station master, rued public.

Yet, unlike the other suburban stations in north Chennai, the Minjur station has much better facilities. The station has three garbage bins and the premises is largely litter free. The railway authorities have built toilets for both men and women but the newly constructed toilets are being locked for months. They have also built a washroom for differently-abled recently, but remains locked. Passengers also pointed out that the ramp is provided to enter the station but there is nothing for the differently-abled to move from one platform to another instead use the railway track.

“A few years ago, there were no basic amenities in the station, even for using toilets and drinking water, we have to visit the nearby shops. Also, train won’t be arriving on time and we were forced to wait for nearly 40 minutes. But after giving frequent complaints to the station master frequently, they have given all the facilities for the passengers. Though there are stairs to move from one platform to another, the public is still walking in the track. Even after many warnings from the officials, they are not bothered to follow,” said Venugopal P, a resident of Minjur for more than 40 years.

Though there is RPF personnel posted at the station, they are rarely seen in the station as a result of which there is no safety for the public especially women at night. “Earlier, the police come to the railway station weekly once. During evenings, there is no safety as the men in the locality get drunk and disturb the women in the station. After frequent complaints to the railway officials, the police come weekly once during night. However, they have stopped visiting the station. After 6 pm, the market will be closed, and it is hard to find any person in the street. we have also complained to the station master regarding this issue, but no action has been taken,” said Vaishali M, a resident of Minjur.

The Minjur station provides commuters with quick modes of transport. With an auto stand in front of the railway station and a bus stop within 500 metres, the public does not have any issues with the transport facility. However, the erratic announcements and the lack of frequency of trains are an issue. “Sometimes, we have to wait for an hour for the train to arrive. Only during peak hours, there are trains for every 30 minutes. At that time there won’t be an announcement about the delay in the train arrival. But otherwise there will be train every 15 minutes to Gummidipoondi and Sullurupeta,” said Shiva Kumar MP, a passenger.

Speaking to DT Next, station master of the station clarified that there was train every 15 minutes in the station. “If there is any issue in the station, it is sorted immediately,” he said.
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