The Metro and railway stations at Yeshwantpur have been a letdown for thousands of commuters opting for multimodal transport. The lack of a skywalk forces them to climb stairs with luggage and children in tow.
Passengers climb down two levels of stairs to come out of the metro station. Though the distance from Metro to the railway station is not more than 90 metres, the walk is riddled with many hurdles. During the rush hour, commuters are seen balancing luggage while crossing the raised kerbs that separate tracks for autorickshaws and taxis.
The issue has been brought to the notice of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) several times since the metro station became operational in February 2014. The BMRCL wrote to railway officials in November 2016 proposing a foot over bridge (FOB) providing direct connection to the existing bridge at the railway station.
The railways replied in May 2017, seeking Rs 7.47 crore as charges for leasing its land for 35 years and other expenses. “We have not received any communication ever since,” said Divisional Railway Manager R S Saxena. On whether the railways could waive charges for a project aimed at benefiting its passengers, Saxena said the request has to come from BMRCL. “The charges were proposed as per existing rules and the letter to BMRCL was sent long ago. They should have written to us making such a request. We can definitely find a solution,” Saxena said.
Questioned about the delay in the project, BMRCL managing director Mahendra Jain said he took charge of the corporation recently and that the issue has come to his attention for the first time. “I will conduct a site inspection within a week and take necessary action immediately,” he said.
After the inauguration of entire Phase 1, the average daily ridership at Yashwantpur Metro Station has reached 8,000 with at least half of them bound for the railway station. Apart from this, about 10,000 people enter the metro station, more than half of them from trains.
“It took almost half an hour to reach the metro station from platform number 3 of the railway station. I had to keep an eye on my grandchildren and carry two bags. A bridge would have helped a lot,” said H G Gurappa, who was waiting for a train to the Kempegowda metro station.