Five railway stations to have escalators in 2 yrs
Owing to the steady rise in the number of train commuters over the years, there has been a demand that the Central and Western railways both build more foot overbridges (FOBs).mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2011 02:16 IST
Owing to the steady rise in the number of train commuters over the years, there has been a demand that the Central and Western railways both build more foot overbridges (FOBs). Now, not just foot overbridges, but the railway has approved a plan to build escalators at these FOBs; the Central Railway will build escalators on FOBs at three important stations - Dadar, Thane and Kalyan, while Western Railway will have these at Andheri and Borivli.
The two lines ferry 70-lakh commuters every day and 10 people die on the suburban lines, mostly due to crossing tracks. Commuter associations say people are forced to put their lives at risk and cross tracks as there aren't adequate number of FOBs to accommodate the passenger rush at these two suburban networks.
These escalators would surely help bring down mishaps on the tracks and also help passengers move faster and decongest the station, say officials.
They will also be of immense help to those who find it difficult to climb stairs at these crowded foot overbridges.
"We have been contemplating for quite some time now. We expect to make it operational within 2 years. The proposal is still in a nascent stage and soon we will call for tenders," said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity.
According to the proposal, the escalator will be placed on the existing FOB after making a few structural modifications to help it align the normal steps with these mechanical steps. Each escalator would cost around Rs40 lakh.
The railways is currently contemplating whether to install these escalators so as to conceal the footsteps of the FOB, or place them only at the side.
However, apprehensions over the feasibility of escalators in the long run remain and railway officials want accurate assessment to be done before starting work on this ambitious project.
"These station see high daily commuter footfalls and these escalators need to be effective in handling the load," said another railway official.
This proposal was mooted in this year's Railway budget.
"It was announced in the budget and necessary work will be sanctioned in due course of time," said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, Central Railway.