At a time when the Chennai police’s Crime against Women and Children Wing is stressing the need to have an exclusive children’s area inside All Women Police Station (AWPS) police stations in the city, at the Royapuram AWPS, there is no space even for personnel of the station.
The century-old heritage building, which the AWPS shares with the Royapuram traffic wing, is in a dilapidated condition and lacks even basic amenities like toilets and water supply. Promises to shift the AWPS and the traffic wing to a new station have remained on paper for years.
There are 25 personnel, including an inspector and sub-inspector at the AWPS, and every day they attend to five to ten complaints, mostly pertaining to domestic disputes.
Crumbling interiors welcome people who enter station. “The false ceiling made of tin sheets, to prevent seepage of water, fell recently. Water, mixed with sewage, from the main road gets into the station during the monsoon. We fear for the safety of the complainants, who often bring their children along,” said a police constable.
Police personnel said that the station was once a rest house for travellers. “We do not even have a toilet exclusively for women. We have to go the one used by men in the traffic wing. Our women complainants and their children also have to use it,” she added.
Meanwhile the condition of the adjacent traffic wing, in which 47 personnel work, is even worse. “Architecturally this may be a treat for the eyes, but every day we work here in fear. Besides, there is no water supply. Sewage overflow is another problem here,” said a police officer.
The Law and Order wing, which was also functioning out of the same building, was shifted to Arthoon Road some years ago. “Additional floors can be constructed and the AWPS and traffic can be accommodated there,” said the officer.
A senior police officer said that he would look into the issue.