CHENNAI: A recent survey by a civil society group has found as many as 17 out of 33 suburban railway stations, on three different lines in the city, having either non-functional toilets or ones that remain locked. This, despite a Madras High Court direction in February to Southern Railway to ensure clean and functional restrooms in all suburban stations.
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The survey was carried out by Satta Panchayat Iyakkam, an NGO, which had filed the PIL in the High Court. The survey was undertaken on Beach-Velachery MRTS line, Central-Avadi line and Beach-Tambaram line. Senthil Arumugam, general secretary of the NGO, said although there has been some improvement, it is still not sufficient. “What is of concern is the guarantee that passenger facilities are maintained properly in the longer run. On the Beach-Velachery MRTS line, five stations, including Mylapore, Light House and Chepauk, have toilets in the first floor which are very likely to missed by users,” he said.
The survey revealed that while restrooms at Kotturpuram, Central and Beach are well maintained, the one at Kodambakkam station is badly maintained. Volunteers also found that the entrance to the toilets at Nungambakkam station is from the outside. A common issue faced by commuters is that restrooms in quite a few stations remain locked.
A railway official said they would submit before the High Court a status report detailing the various steps taken. He refused to comment further citing that the matter was sub judice.