More escalators likely at City, Yeshwantpur stations by April
A K Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway, Bangalore Division, said the projects were underway. “The escalators at the Bengaluru City railway station will come up earlier than the one at the Yeshwantpur station. We are looking at work completion within three to four months. Work is on to meet the deadline,” the official said.
The escalators at the City railway station will come up at platforms 2 and 3 and 9 and 10. The escalators at Yeshwantpur will come up at platform 1, platform 6, and two near the old foot-over-bridge. In all two escalators at the city station and four escalators at the Yeshwanpur station have been commissioned.
The railways is also building two additional lifts at Bengaluru city railway station and four at Yeshwantpur as part of the modernisation programme. In all six lifts will be provided for city and Yeshwantpur stations.
Currently, the City station has made provision for electric vehicles (carts) for the elderly and disabled and the service is free of charge. The cost of each escalator may be around Rs 45 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, while it was around Rs 35 lakh in 2013.
The work on the escalators will not hamper passenger traffic as no major reworking on the platforms is being undertaken. Initially, it was thought that the escalators were needed to only go upwards, but after a review, it was decided to have one to go down, too.
The original plan was to go the same way as Delhi and Chennai, which have escalators only for going up, a senior railway official said. The four escalators got the go-ahead in the July 2009 railway budget when it was announced by then railway minister Mamata Banerjee that escalators would be introduced all over the country in a phased manner.
However, it never took up the work and introduced tenders only in 2012-end. Even that took time and work was not on between 2013 and late 2014. Some discussion happened in 2015 and it was decided that the railways would go ahead with the project. Now, the new deadline has been given as March-April 2016.
Passengers have been long complaining that they need an escalator to get to the other platforms. M Datta, a frequent traveller, says the climb is far too steep for people with heavy luggage to walk up and down.
“I often see people standing and taking rest every few steps. The way they walk with the luggage clearly impairs the back and it is possible you could land up with a muscle tear or slip, both of which are dangerous. But who can they share the problem with? There is no one to listen to public grievance these days. I’ve heard now that more escalators would come up at the city railway station. This will definitely make things easier for passengers.”