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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Amritsar Railway station - a night mare

Avninder Kaur , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, September 13, 2013
First Published: 21:44 IST(13/9/2013) | Last Updated: 21:45 IST(13/9/2013)

First impression is the last impression is an inspiring old proverb but seems the authorities at holy city's junction Railway station have no interest to get inspired from this proverb as the station has become a spot of shame. The station might have been given a heritage look some years ago but it simply proves futile when basic things are missing.

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It is a welcoming spot for travelers in city that not only presents an ugly reality of administration here but makes the arrival a painful one. The moment one steps out of the train, the unhygienic platform is the first shock. Lacking the primary sanitation at every platform, without even one identifiable clean spot corridor, ground and walls covered with litter and nooks marked with filth narrate the sad story of sanitation system here.

Outside the station building, are unlimited beggars who go on to chase till they get something from the tired travelers. At the same time, the way auto drivers surround around any traveler offers a whimsical scene to any traveler. And finally, if any tourist wants to visit the tourist office, there are no directions for him or her to follow. Most footpaths are covered with filth or encroached by beggars. And if we throw light on public toilets here, it is again a nightmare. If anyone plans to use the over bridge to cross the GT Road outside the station, it also speaks volumes about the responsibility of authorities here.


There is no option also for a hygienic meal. One has to depend upon the poor options available. Jaspal Singh Sokhi, from Amritsar says" Being a father my concern for kids come first and many times i have found the eatable packs expired and even with expiry date removed from pack. The food from stalls is unhygienic and no one bothers to check it."

Recent case of molestation at the station of a Danish tourist has put a big question mark for security at the station. The station also hosts the culture of pick pockets and teasing in which foreign tourists are always targeted and HT team brought this into the notice of the Dharminder Kalyan, SHO and security in charge at the station. He said, "We do our best but we lack strength and we can't do anything about it as recruitment is a Ministry's decision and long formal procedure." Unfortunately, RPF consisting only twelve constables in all for place which hosts thousands at one time raises mammoth sized questions.

Adding to troubles of travelers, less number of ticket windows makes them wait for hours in front of ticket window. It consumes precious time of travelers, and even make one miss the train maintains Kaya a student and regular traveler.

With only five platforms, trains are kept waiting before Amritsar junction to manage the traffic which consumes valued time of passengers. It is also working as opportunity to unchecked, bill-less couriers and loadings to off board the train.

Speak out

Deepinder Pal Singh, regular traveler on Amritsar Delhi route says," It's regrettable to see the difference between metro railway station and the ordinary. Metro has given example what the railway system should be. All it need is attention on the part of government. Our railway makes me feel like one from undeveloped world, what a pity!!"

Raghunath Singh a daily traveler, employee in government irrigation department, holds," Seating arrangements are not enough and no arrangements of enough fans. These are the basics facilities available at every place but here even these are not provided."

Karan Singh ,government employee shares," My purse was taken while boarding on the train.In the crowd I could not notice, but later on found that someone had cut my pocket. We see such incidents happen daily, as I am a daily traveler."

Dharminder Kalyan, SHO, security in-charge Railway Station says" We do our best  but we lack strength and we can't do anything about it as recruitment is a Ministry's decision and long formal procedure."

Jaspal Singh Sokhi, from Amritsar says, "Eateries at the station must be regularly checked by health department and cleanliness at the station is a must".

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