MRTS stations not on right track

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The glossy paint of the outer walls of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) stations in Kasturba Nagar and Indira Nagar can be misleading as the inside story is appalling.

The accidental death of a 52-year-old woman at the Kasturba Nagar station Friday evening is a grim reminder of how pathetic the condition of these station is.

Although the woman was run over by an MRTS train while crossing the tracks to get to the other side, and was clearly to blame for the accident, the station which serves a busy IT corridor, did not have a proper first aid kit to dress her injuries, according to a doctor who was on board the train who tried to find one to help her.

The story is no different at other MRTS stations which are lacking in almost all respects - illumination, drinking water, sanitation and security.

A regular MRTS traveller, S. Shyam Sundar, says most stations are so poorly lit that they make ideal hideouts for anti-social elements.

“Passengers are sitting ducks for thieves and pickpockets at the poorly lit stations that have hardly any security guards around,” he complains.

Some stations like Chindathripet are so deserted that passengers have urged the authorities to step up their security even during the day.

A software professional from Mylapore, K. Satish Kumar, complains that the toilets at many of the stations remain locked and encourage defecation in the open.

“How can you expect hygiene inside a station when you lock all the toilets?” he asks.

Pushpa Immanuel of Luz sees the locked toilets as proof of authorities’ indifference to women passengers.

For the elderly, the MRTS stations are a nightmare as their escalators rarely work. “The stairs are too steep for old people like me to climb.

We have complained several times about the lifts which don’t work as well, but station officials conveniently pass the buck to their superiors,” grumbles Mr Chandramohan a retired insurance employee from Indira Nagar.

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