Chennai: Stagnating water hits subway users

CHENNAI: Pedestrians using the subway connecting Trisoolam railway station and the Chennai airport are facing problems because of lack of security and stagnating water.

One can see a sheet of water on the ground soon after entering the subway from the station side. A ‘spring’ of water on the sides of the steps overflows on to the ground. Many passengers from the airport carrying heavy luggage, particularly those fitted with wheels, are put to lot of inconvenience.

People working in the airport lament that even after a short spell of rain, water stagnates in the subway. To avoid the water, some people take the risk of crossing the busy national highway to reach the airport or vice-versa with their luggage.

Difficult trek: Not many people prefer using the subway in the face of water stagnation and safety issues. — Photo: A. Muralitharan

“Engineering marvel”

The subway was constructed at a cost of Rs.5 crore and inaugurated in April last year. National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) officials had then termed the facility an engineering marvel, as it was constructed without any road cuts.

When contacted, NHAI officials said they had received complaints about water stagnation. Water from the Trisoolam station’s stormwater drains was seeping into the subway. The NHAI was pumping out the water. A meeting with the railway officials would be organised soon to sort out the issue. The officials said the maintenance of the subway had been handed over to a private contractor, who was baling out water during and after rain regularly.

“Women harassed”

Another major issue haunting the users was the lack of security and safety, particularly during late evening hours. This issue was raised at a recent meeting, in which the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) complained to the Airport Director that women working in airline counters and ground handling agencies at the airport had to encounter anti-social elements.

They were being harassed by a group of autorickshaw drivers, who parked their vehicles near the subway.

However, the victims had not filed any formal complaints with law-enforcing agencies. The AOC had requested the police to provide security at the subway during late evening hours, they added.

P. Oppili – From THE HINDU

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