Commuter inconvenience: Techie’s murder fails to improve RPF security at Nungambakkam

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: Techie’s murder fails to improve RPF security at Nungambakkam

Chennai

Many stations located in the suburbs have proper shelter for commuters and RPF personnel on patrol. But the Nungambakkam railway station, despite being one of the most important stations in the city, lacks such important and basic facilities, rue passengers. 

In 2016, the Nungambakkam railway station gained infamy after a woman software engineer was hacked to death by a stalker during peak hour in the morning while she was waiting to board an EMU. After the incident, as questions were raised regarding the safety of the passengers in the railway station, the government ordered the installation of CCTV cameras in railway stations after the police found it difficult to trace the murderer in the absence of cameras.

According to sources, the station records a footfall of up to 25,000 on weekdays. With several prominent education institutions, including Loyola College, located nearby, a large number of college students use the Nungambakkam railway station. The area is also considered as one of the prime neighbourhoods with top institutions, several government offices, including Regional passport office and immigration office, present there. It is also to be noted that the Director of School Education office is also locatedat Nungambakkam. 

But commuters alleged that the station lacked security, as there are no RPF personnel on duty round-the-clock. “Though there are CCTV cameras installed, the RPF should be on duty at the station throughout the day as there are many college students using the station,” said Lynn, a college student.

Apart from that, the station does not have proper shelter to cover the entire stretch of the platform. Thus, the passengers are forced to wait under the sun for boarding the trains. They also pointed out that a compound wall constructed near the Loyola College forces public to walk too close to the railway tracks which is risky. “Something needs to be done about it,” said Peter, another student.

As is the case with most suburban train stations, there are no proper announcements and the station does not have clocks or display boards. The third and fourth platform in the station are not being maintained properly and instead, due to which, anti-social elements are using the space to consume liquorduring night.

When contacted, a Southern Railway official said he would look into the issues and resolve them soon.
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