Foot overbridge pillars at Chennai's Guindy railway station pose threat to passengers

While the railways' safety manual mandates minimum distance from the centre of the track and permanent structures be more than 2.36 m, the FOB pillar is located at a distance of 2.1 m.
The pillars of the foot overbridge at Guindy railway station poses threat to  the commuters. (Photo| Ashwin Prasath, EPS)
The pillars of the foot overbridge at Guindy railway station poses threat to the commuters. (Photo| Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

CHENNAI: Two pillars of a foot overbridge (FOB) located close to the railway track at platform one in Guindy station poses a threat to the passengers. While the railways' safety manual mandates minimum distance from the centre of the track and permanent structures be more than 2.36 m, the FOB pillar is located at a distance of 2.1 m. However, officials of the Southern Railway say there is no infringement in safety standards.

To provide ease of access to metro stations and bus stands, the railways built a second platform on the western side of Guindy and Egmore. Works are underway in St Thomas Mount and a few other stations in Beach - Tambaram section as well.

"Earlier, the western side of the track was fenced with a concrete wall. After the new platform was built, the pillars are closer to the track and there is a possibility of passengers hitting it while boarding and de-boarding slow-moving trains," said R Ramachandran of Velachery, a regular commuter.

"A section of office-goers are yet to return to suburban trains. Once patronage increases to pre-COVID levels, there is a possibility of repeat of the 2018 St Thomas Mount incident," said S Murugavel of Madipakkam, another commuter.

In July 2018, seven commuters who were travelling on the footboard of a suburban train were killed after hitting a concrete wall abutting two platforms at St Thomas Mount Station. Following recommendation of the commissioner of railway safety, platform 4 was partially demolished and the distance between the track and concrete wall was increased.

A senior railway official said the existing FOB will be demolished. "Work on the new FOB was delayed due to issues in procuring construction materials. Now the issues have been resolved and work has resumed. The new FOB will be ready within four months," he said.

There is no engineering deviation in the location of the pillar as per railway norms, said the official.

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