While railway commuters think elevators could be a waste of money if installed at stations that see large crowds of commuters, the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has already called for tenders for installing them.
The railway infrastructure planning and development body for the city had planned to install thirteen elevators on five stations on the harbour line which connects Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. Upset with it, commuter groups say given the large crowds on suburban stations, installing elevators would be a waste of money.
“Elevators are convenient for small stations. However, no station on the harbour line caters to less than 50,000 commuters daily. In such a scenario, installing elevators mean a waste of public money,” said Subhash Gupta of Yatri Sangh.
Commuter groups have also threatened to register a complaint with railway minister Suresh Prabhu besides taking up the issue with CR.
“We will also approach CR to ask them to not install lifts,” said Abhijeet Dhurat, another commuter activist.
Of the 13 elevators, two will be installed at Mankhurd, three at Chembur, three at Kings Circle, three at Wadala and two at Reay road stations. The MRVC is also looking to install six escalators. Of the six, one will come up at Dockyard Road, two at Mankhurd while the remaining three will be installed at Wadala station.
MRVC is going to spend about Rs3.86 crore for installing the elevators and escalators.
Presently, there are no elevators or escalators installed on the harbour line, but a total of ten escalators and three lifts are in operation on the main line. According to sources, commutes tend to use escalators more than elevators.
The elevators cannot be used by a large number of commuters, according to commuter groups.
Central railway officials said more elevators are to be installed owing to space constraints and for the convenience of physically-challenged commuters.
A commuter, however, said that even though there are elevators at CST, they are hardly used by commuters, including those who are physically-challenged. MRVC spokesperson Prabhat Ranjan did not comment on the matter.