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Blog Entry# 2953531
Posted: Dec 30 2017 (15:14)

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Last Response: Dec 30 2017 (15:14)
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Dec 30 2017 (15:11)   Neglected railway station in Chennai turns into park

SHRIRAM~   1 news posts
Entry# 2953531   News Entry# 325761         Tags   Past Edits
Chennai: After a decade of neglect, and playing host to drug peddlers and other anti-social elements, Anna Nagar railway station in the city has finally found salvation.
Much to the joy of morning walkers and seekers of open space in the locality, it has been re-imagined as a park by the ICF.
A board was placed on 16 November at the entrance of the station announcing the park’s inauguration by S Dhanashekar, senior technician / Shop-30 in the presence of ICF officers and other staff members.
credit must be given to Da Vinci School of Architecture students who spruced up the station as part of a national-level competition (organised by National Association for Students of Architecture) to take up an abandoned urban space and transform it into a space ideal to have a gathering.
With ICF’s permission and by digging into their own pockets for funds, the youngsters purchased materials for cleaning and hired earthmovers to clear the area of trees uprooted by Cyclone Vardah. They levelled the ground and did the ground work themselves to clear the garbage from the platforms.
Setting up an amphitheatre and other plans were also in the pipeline, but lack of funds tied their hands.
“They were the ones who put the pillaiyar suzhi,” says 49-year-old Venkatesh, an ICF employee who has started using the station-cum-park for morning walk. He adds, “People began to take notice of the student’s effort and ICF stepped in to take it further.”
ICF later set up gates to keep cattle out of the station premises and planted Ashoka tree saplings to give the space a touch of green.
The entrance has been cemented and a raised walkers’ track has been established on the ground behind the station. The entrance also has a few LED lamps for illumination.
ICF has also enrolled the services of a full-time security guard, Balsamy, to keep trespassers and other anti-social elements out. A security booth at the entrance has also been set up.
Balsamy said, “Now, many people have started using the facility. Retired ICF employees sit and talk here enjoying the evening breeze and take a walk in the morning silence along the long, sprawling station premises. There are also plans to introduce a register to monitor who uses the facility.”
“But work is not fully over yet,’ he says, pointing to the missing taps at the drinking water facilities and at the high lamp posts with missing lights on the platform. ‘When the station lay abandoned till a few months back, misguided youngsters took the metal parts from taps and junction box lids on the lamp-posts to sell them. Now the ICF has to foot the bill to replace them,” he said
Apart from these issues, a canal runs adjacent to the station and a partitioning compound wall has to be constructed to make the place safe for children. The toilet in the station also does not have water connection and that needs to be restored. “But ICF is working on bringing the necessary improvements,” said Venkatesh.
The park is open from 5 to 9 in the morning as well as in the evening.
In 2003, a 3.09 km railway line, initially used by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur for moving newly-built coaches from shell to furnishing division of the factory, was strengthened at a cost of Rs 7.29 crore.
Two new stations, namely Anna Nagar and Padi, were built for operating passenger services. Between 2003 and 2007, five suburban trains were run from Anna Nagar to Chennai Beach via Villivakkam.
In 2007, the service was discontinued due to construction of the rotary flyover at Padi junction which was completed in 2009. But train service to the station was not restored, in spite of repeated requests from the residents to the Railways, owing to poor patronage at the station previously.

1 Public Posts - Sat Dec 30, 2017

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