Already grappling with issues of beggars, unsanitary conditions and lack of security measures, passengers on Thursday were forced to buy mineral water bottles as taps went dry amid the scorching weather.
A visit to Ludhiana Railway Station on Thursday revealed that there was no supply of water from most of the taps, due to which passengers had no option but to purchase mineral water bottles.
The few taps that did have supply, were running boiling hot water. To add to passengers’ woes, the bottles were being sold at prices more than the maximum retail price (MRP).
None of the taps at platform numbers 1,2,3,4 and 5 had water supply. Besides, the condition of sinks on platform number 1 was deplorable.
To make matters worse, fans were not functional at platform numbers 2,3,4 and 5. Several passengers were found standing or sitting on the floor due to inadequate seating arrangements at the station.
Further, at platform number 3, throwing norms to the wind, a vendor was found selling tobacco products openly without displaying any warnings on display boards. At platform numbers 2 and 3 most of the dustbins were found uncovered.
Entering the toilets of the station revealed the unbearable stench and flies. A passenger, Shanti Rani, said, “It is impossible to relieve oneself in such unsanitary conditions as you can’t stand there for even a minute.”
Talking to Hindustan Times, Sukhwinder Singh, a passenger, said, “I am travelling from Ambala to Jalandhar for some work, and got down at Ludhiana station to drink water, but was surprised to see unavailability of water for the public. So I purchased a water bottle from a stall for 20.”
Another passenger, Santokh Singh, who belongs to Lohian Khas, Jalandhar, said, “The diesel multiple unit (DMU) train is late for one and a half hours, and due to no seating arrangement, I have been waiting standing in this searing heat.
Non-functional fans make the situation worse. It is disappointing to see the plight of the station where passengers are provided no facilities.”
When contacted, station superintendent Ravinder Sharma said, “I have not received any complaint for dry taps. If there is any problem, I will ask the officials concerned to check that proper drinking facility and fans are made available at the station.”
Dr Abnash Kumar, district health officer, said, “We will visit the railway station in the next few days and if vendors are found selling tobacco products without proper display boards, we will issue challans to them.”