CHENNAI: Southern Railway is mulling increasing the width of the passenger foot overbridge (FOB) inside the Mambalam railway station by constructing a gangway (passenger walk-way above the electric traction lines) parallely to the existing one.
In addition, officials are also planning to provide railings in the middle of the walkways for the convenience of senior citizens.
Suburban train passengers have been complaining for of years about the congestion, and demanding a wider gang-way on the station, one of the busiest on the Egmore-Tambaram route.
The station, which caters to traders and customers arriving to make purchases in the shopping hub, sees a daily footfall of at least 1 lakh, with the number going up during weekends.
“The ticket counter is located on one end of the FOB. During rush hours, there is a serpentine queue for buying tickets, which extends to the bottom of the staircase. As a result, those who are in a hurry to catch the trains, find it difficult to make their way through,” said a Central Government employee, who is a regular commuter on the route for 20 years.
“Due to the crowd, some youngsters also try to take the short-cut resulting in runovers,” a Railway official said. Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Chennai, Anupam Sharma, had inspected the station a few days ago along with Government Railway officials.
Sources said that passenger amenities at Mambalam station, including the widening of FOB, was discussed many times during official meetings and had been given an in-principle approval by the DRM.
Though Railway officials admitted that constructing another gangway would be a tough engineering task, tenders for the construction might be called for very soon.