Chennai railway stations breed mosquitoes

Chennai commuters have repeatedly pointed out through letters in newspapers and in petitions, that the station infrastructure in the suburban and first phase MRTS sections is rickety and poorly designed.

In the suburban lines, the station roofing is made of health-damaging asbestos. In addition, as the accompanying picture shows, there are gaps in the roofing wherever the pillars have been installed. This is a seriously faulty design, because it allows water to drip on to the base of the pillar and stagnate. Until it completely dries up, it acts as a receptacle that is best suited to mosquito breeding.

Water has stagnated at the base of this Fort Station pillar.

Of what avail are national malaria eradition campaigns, when this is the level of importance given by public health and railway authorities to public facilities? Will the Railway Ministry act to modernise its creaking infrastructure on the suburban lines in this, the 21st century?

None of the civic leaders bother about the rail lines and facilities, whether it is removing garbage or providing lighting on the approaches. One look at the scene at Chintadripet makes this clear. To local leaders, the rail lines are all owned by the Central government, unlike the bus service which is “owned” by the State. Thus, there is no political incentive to improve things. That is the breadth of their concern. What a mess our civic management is!

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