Brace for a sweaty wait at Metro stations

Some underground stations of Chennai Metro do not have adequate airconditioning due to water scarcity, which has left passengers feeling sultry inside stations, sources said.

R. Sivakumar, a 57-year-old resident of Meenambakkam who travelled from Anna Nagar Tower Metro station a few days ago, said, “Around 8.30 p.m., I bought the ticket and waited at the platform to board the train. I felt so stuffy in both the concourse and platform. Incidentally, there was an announcement that there was not sufficient airconditioning due to water scarcity. They should at least install fans for better air circulation.”

Many commuters have even taken to social media platforms to express their anger. Staff in Anna Nagar Tower Metro Rail station and Shenoy Nagar Metro Rail station say that they have had to cut down on running airconditioners for a few hours owing to water scarcity. “We find it quite difficult to sit here in the underground station all day for the last two weeks, as there is no water and we cannot switch on the airconditioner for the whole day too. It is so humid down here,” a staff member said.

Sources in Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) said that at many underground stations, the airconditioning is switched off for quite a few hours because they don’t have enough water. But they do have air handling units and other machines that ensure circulation of air. “We even checked the temperatures and monitored the condition in underground station and the temperature outside and inside is almost the same; passengers can never feel suffocated because there is no air circulation,” a source countered.

Chennai Metro Rail gets much of its water supply either by pipeline or through lorries from Chennai Metro Water. While an elevated station consumes an average of about 3,000 litres a day, an underground station needs about 9,000 litres a day.

But Chennai Metro Rail Limited has officially claimed that there was no water scarcity and that airconditioners were not being switched off.

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