Lack of escalators at 2 Metro stations irks commuters

Thousands of commuters are looking forward to the inauguration of the next stretch of Chennai Metro Rail, which extends from Little Mount to Chennai airport, but some of them may be disappointed to find there are no escalators in two stations — Nanganallur Road and Meenambakkam.

According to sources, escalators have not been provided owing to lack of sufficient space in these two stations. But, they said, there would be three and four lifts in Nanganallur and Meenambakkam stations respectively.

All the other stations along this stretch, including Little Mount, Guindy and Chennai airport, have three or four escalators apart from lifts. In 10 years from now, at least 1,500 passengers are expected to travel through both these stations.

Commuters say they certainly want more facilities since the fares are quite high.

Low patronage

 V. Subramani of Traffic and Transportation Forum said, “As such, the number of people travelling through the first stretch has been quite low because the fares are so high. If the officials want more people to travel through the Metro Rail at least from the next stretch, they should reduce the fare and also provide more facilities like escalators which make travel easy.”

He noted the non-availability of escalators at St. Thomas Mount suburban station and said thousands of commuters suffered from having to walk quite a distance. This should not be repeated here, he added.

Vidya Raghavan, a commuter, noted that there were thousands of senior citizens in this locality who might find it difficult to travel if escalators were not provided at stations.

“How many people can the lifts alone accommodate? That won’t suffice. Non-availability of escalators is one of the reasons why many senior citizens don’t use the Palavanthangal suburban station,” she said.

The first service of Chennai Metro Rail between Koyambedu and Alandur was started in June last year. After close to a year of operations, about 10,000 people travel on this stretch.