Multi-modal transition, a huge challenge for the elderly, the disabled

Multi-modal transition, a huge challenge for the elderly, the disabled

Multi-modal transition, a huge challenge for the elderly, the disabled

Has the new walkway connecting the Majestic metro station with an existing subway that links the KSR city railway station and BMTC bus stand, made multi-modal transition easy? Not really, say senior citizens and those carrying heavy luggage.

Commuters struggle carrying their luggage two to three levels up and down. It is a painful experience, particularly for senior and differently-abled citizens to scale the stairs and walk past the foot over bridge to change platforms.

Says Naveen Kumar, an IT professional: "I have come across elderly people and women carrying children climbing up the crowded stairs, but fearing that they might fall. Wider ramps or slopes can be helpful, as the escalators here are also very narrow."

Commuters who take the back side entrance (Platform 10) of the Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna(KSR) railway station also face the same set of issues. As the foot over bridge linking the City Railway Metro station and KSR railway station is still under construction, there is no option for people but to take the road.

Subha P Lakshmi, Assistant Manager at the New India Insurance Company, travels to Channapatna for work along with her colleague Kriti Verma. She prefers to get into the KSR station near the City Railway Metro Station. Subha elaborates, "It takes around 20 minutes to reach the platform. We walk from the metro station and then take the stairs. There are no escalators or lift here".

The narrow street that connects to the station is not well maintained. When it rains, the road turns slushy and dangerous to walk. "I have seen people slipping and falling during the rainy season. It is very difficult to walk carrying luggage on the slippery road," she says.

The old subway linking the city railway station with the BMTC / KSRTC bus stations is filled with filth and garbage. Most women refrain from taking that subway as there are no proper security measures.

"As we commute regularly for work, we prefer taking the back entry to avoid the old subway. That subway has no security and is also poorly lit. During evening hours, it is really risky for women to take that route," says Kriti Verma, an insurance firm employee.

The subway is encroached by hawkers selling products ranging from clothes, footware, toys to electronic gadgets. Transgenders and prostitutes have occupied the dingy corners of the subway making it even more chaotic.

For Lakshmi Priya, a retired teacher, enduring all this is the only way. She says: "We cannot cross the busy roads. So we have no choice other than the subway. I do not feel like travelling because of the poor facilities here. I require at least a week's rest when I do travel."

If this is the case with the elderly, the differently-abled citizens face more challenges. Moving from one platform to another to board the trains is a huge task as there are no proper lifts or slopes for the wheel chairs. They are forced to depend on others to carry them.

Sampath N, who was travelling with his mother to Hyderabad, observes: "I do not prefer sending my mother alone. It is difficult for her to carry heavy luggage and climb the stairs. Escalators are mostly crowded. So it will be helpful if better facilities are provided."

 

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