Uncleared debris, no RPF, dog menace leave commuters irked at Ponneri station

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
Uncleared debris, no RPF, dog menace leave commuters irked at Ponneri station


Commuters at Ponneri Railway station have an array of complaints and first in the list is the lack of train frequency to Gummidipoondi. Not too far behind are the dogs that are not vaccinated and scare away the public.

Additionally, with the public announcement system being inoperative, passengers have no other option but to keep a watch on the signal to know the arrival of the trains. “A few weeks ago, we came to this station for the first time and we got on a wrong train as there was no announcement. We have to watch out for changing signal to predict the arrival of trains. When we complained to the station master, they said that the commuters pay no attention to the announcements they make,” said Santhosh S, a resident from Anna Nagar. The commuter added that they have to wait for more than one hour for the train to Gummidipoondi. Trains to Chennai Central arrive every 20 minutes.

Though there are two garbage bins at the station, the public litter platforms and that attracts stray dogs. “There are at least six dogs in the station. It is scary to walk with the children because of the strays following passengers. When we complained to the station master, he said that dogs have not harmed any passengers in the past, while admitting that these dogs were not vaccinated,” said Sivashanmugam K, a passenger.

Another problem the commuters raised is the lack of toilets inside the station. Though the construction of toilets for men and women was completed, they remain locked throughout the day. If the passengers need to use the washroom, they should ask the station master to unlock it. Roofs over platforms are also absent in the station.

Passengers pointed out that the stairs were renovated recently, but the debris from the construction has not been cleared from the premises yet. “Earlier, the staircase was weak and it was broken. So the authorities constructed the new staircase. But, the middle of the staircase became weak again and they had to break and construct a new one. Following that, the debris was dumped in the middle of the station and it is difficult for us to use the stairs, especially when the station is crowded. There have been incidents of commuters falling over the debris,” said Krishnan R, another passenger.

Additionally, there is no Railway Police Force (RPF) posted at the station. They come from Gummidipoondi railway station only when a complaint is made.

Speaking to DT Next, Ponneri station master said, “We announce the arrival of trains. We don’t have RPF personnel at the station but they come when a complaint is made. We will also remove the debris lying near the staircase once the demolition of the old staircase is done.”
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