Oldest railway underpass gives commuters real creeps

Two-wheelers wait patiently under the railway overbridge for the train to pass at Seshadripuram. DH Photo/Janardhan B K

The railway overbridge on Subedar Chatram (SC) Road between Anand Rao Circle and Seshadripuram looks no different from many others in the country, but for one difference.

Motorists taking the route would rather wait at the nearby level crossing than use the underpass running below the railway bridge. This being the oldest railway bridge in the city, people are anxious about its condition.

"This is one of the oldest bridges. We've no clue about its maintenance. So, people like me would prefer waiting at the railway crossing. An extra minute or two at the level crossing wouldn't hurt," said Hitesh, a trader in Malleswaram, who uses the SC Road level crossing daily.

Sachindra, a resident of Seshadripuram, said the tracks were not fully covered with concrete and it was possible that human excreta from the toilets of moving trains would fall on the commuters going through the underpass.

"When motorists see us wait, they tend to join the queue. So, the vehicle pile-up before the level crossing has become a common scene here," he said.

South Western Railway's senior manager, Bengaluru division, R K Singh assured commuters that the bridge poses no risks. "We conduct regular checks to ensure the bridge is safe. It's strong enough, like any other bridge in the city," he said.

Singh also assured that the bridge is fully sealed with concrete and chances of excrement from the train falling on the commuters does not arise. "Moreover, the trains are equipped with bio toilets," he clarified.

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