Uneasy wait for commuters

Photo: D. MadhavanAt the Villivakkam railway station, there are concrete slabs around trees. The reason behind the unexpected choice: the state of the asbestos roof at the shelters, especially at platform 2 and 3. The asbestos sheets were damaged in the cyclonic storm, Vardah. “A few asbestos sheets hang precariously. Many of the asbestos sheets that form the roof of the shelters were severely damaged in cyclone Vardah, but are yet to be replaced.

The asbestos sheets were damaged in the cyclonic storm, Vardah. Photo: D. Madhavan

At the Villivakkam railway station, there are concrete slabs around trees. Then, there are spanking new granite benches on the platforms. Commuters prefer the slabs to the benches.

The reason behind the unexpected choice: the state of the asbestos roof at the shelters, especially at platform 2 and 3. On platform 2, trains towards Chennai Central and Beach stop. On platform 3, trains towards Tiruvallur and Arakkonam and also express trains stop.

Many of the asbestos sheets that form the roof of the shelters were severely damaged in cyclone Vardah, but are yet to be replaced.

“A few asbestos sheets hang precariously. We are scared of waiting under this roof,” said S. Venugopal, a commuter from Villivakkam.

Among the major railway stations on the Western rail line, which include Perambur, Ambattur and Avadi, the one at Villivakkam alone has an asbestos roof for its shelter. In the other big stations, blue-coloured steel sheets form the roof at the shelter.

Located between the railway stations at Perambur Loco Works and Korattur, the Villivakkam station is an important public transport facility for college students and industrial workers from the Ambattur Industrial Estate.

Also, railway workers at the Perambur Loco Works, railway hospital and ICF board trains at the Villivakkam railway station as the facility is closer to the big market in the neighbourhood.

The big market is known for the sale of fresh vegetables, greens and fruits that come from farmlands in the city outskirts bordering Tiruvallur district.

Besides, residents of Kolathur, Anna Nagar, Retteri, Aminjikarai, Padi and SIDCO Nagar board train at the station to reach various destinations, including Arakkonam, Avadi, Ambattur, Perambur and Chennai Central.

Every day, on an average, suburban trains make around 260 trips on the western rail route between Chennai Central and Arakkonam.

After the Chennai Beach – Tambaram line, the Chennai Central – Arakkonam is the busiest suburban rail route in the city. “We will take necessary steps to have have the roof at the shelters replaced,” said a railway official. Stay updated with all the Chennai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

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