CHENNAI: The burgeoning Aadi shopping crowds at the Mambalam station have brought to focus the need for additional space on the foot-over-bridge and gangway. While facilities like toilets and food stalls at the station seem adequate to cater to the increasing numbers, commuters on Sunday told CE that the rush posed a much larger risk.
“Though there are two passageways on either side of the platform to get onto the foot-over-bridge, it gets too crowded. People rushing to catch trains are at a risk of falling,” pointed out 44-year-old S Mythili from Guindy, who came to shop for clothes on Sunday. This might make people take the dangerous path of crossing the tracks, she added.
Ramesh Krishnan, a 55-year-old government servant and a regular commuter on the route said that Mambalam was one of the few suburban stations to have functional toilets. “They had recently re-opened it after maintenance. Even if there is no water in the taps, the station officials ensure that tubs are filled with water. This comes as a relief to elderly diabetics and children,” he said.
However, the approach road to the station on the eastern side is littered with vegetable and fruit waste. The rains on the weekend also made the pathway slushy and with a number of roadside stalls, some felt a bit uncomfortable. “Some of these hawkers sit on the already over-crowded staircase near the railings,” said V Vimala, a 60-year-old who came shopping. Security too has been tightened at the station. “This is one of the few stations to have an Integrated Security System,” said an official.