Waiting for better facilities

Unpleasant Environment

Waiting for better facilities

The Bengaluru City Railway Station is haunted by a myriad of problems leaving the passengers high and dry. Waiting for the train has become a tedious affair with unclean toilets, poor seating facilities and a dysfunctional elevator adding to the woes.

Moreover, stone slabs on some of the platforms have been broken for relaying and renovation. As a result, there are heaps of uncleared mud and stones, which become a hindrance for the smooth movement of passengers.  

The stench from the toilets pursues you as soon as you enter the station. Many passengers say that they prefer standing outside the main entrance till their train arrives to avoid the stench which emanates from clogged drains in the toilets within the station and from the tracks as well.

Asha, a professional bowler, confesses that she never uses the toilets in the station. “The toilets are dirty but that is not the only issue. The escalator in the station hasn’t been repaired for a long time. It’s difficult to carry the luggage up the stairs. Calling the porters is not the best idea because they charge an unreasonable amount,” says Asha.  

The least one would expect to see in the IT capital is good passenger amenities. The benches aren’t enough to accommodate the passengers and most people are found sitting on their luggages or on the floor. The only escalator in the station is dysfunctional. Senior citizens struggling to carry their luggage up the stairs is not a pleasant sight.

There are also concerns regarding security. Some women point out that they feel unsafe waiting in the station at night. Merlin, a student, travels to her hometown quite often.

She says that she had a bad experience when she boarded an empty train recently. “My train was already there at the station when I arrived so I decided to get into it. Suddenly, a group of men entered the train and kept staring at me. I was terrified and got off immediately. Sadly, there weren’t any cops at that hour,” she says. Merlin also points out that “there are no dustbins in the toilet and most of the time, there is no water as well. It stinks,” she adds.    

Suresh, an employee with Larsen & Toubro, and Ugene who works with Tech Mahindra have similar complaints. “Cities like Hyderabad and Kochi have better facilities at stations. There are no escalators and no ramps here. We have to carry our luggage up the stairs which is not easy,” notes Suresh.

Ugene says one doesn’t feel like eating or drinking at the station because of the unclean surroundings. The passengers are also to be blamed with some of them spitting and urinating on the walls in the station. “I would rather arrive just in time to catch the train rather than come here and wait. Bengaluru is supposed to be a dream destination for a lot of people but these are not the kind of facilities one would expect to see,” he adds.

Dogs are also seen roaming on platforms. Robson, an IT professional, says, “I was stunned when I saw a lot of stray dogs moving around in the station. There’s nobody around to stop their entry. What if somebody gets bitten by them?” he wonders.

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