Gurugram residents risk lives to cross rail tracks due to damaged passageway
Residents of colonies around the Gurugram railway station are compelled to cross the tracks defying risk to their lives, with the only passageway — a set of stairs that lead down the Daulatabad flyover — falling into disrepair. The set of stairs, on either side of the railway tracks, connects to the Daulatabad flyover, and provide a passageway to commuters. The dilapidated condition of the stairs, however, has made them unsafe for use.
People of all age groups can be seen walking over the tracks on any given day. Another way for crossing over is through the flyover, which can be accessed either through the starting point or a set of stairs in the middle.
Commuters said that crossing the flyover from the starting point increased the distance and time, and the poor conditions of the stairs discouraged them from using them. Concrete has come off from large portions of the stairs, and the railing has been uprooted from other stretches. While some locals accused thieves of removing portions of the grill, others blamed the poor quality of construction.
“The stairs are broken and concrete is spread across the area. It is risky to climb since any movement might lead to the concrete falling down. There are stretches where there is no railing since the grill has been removed,” said Rakesh Yadav, who crosses the tracks daily to reach his workplace.
Yadav said that there had been incidents in the past where pieces of the tiles had fallen on the street underneath. “Portions of concrete and stones from the stairs have fallen on the road in the past. People have had a narrow escape,” he said.
Ashish Sharma, a class 10 student of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 4/7, crosses the tracks daily to reach school. Sharma, 16, said that while crossing the tracks was a risky business, the stairs were no less dangerous.
“There is no other way to cross. If we start from the beginning of the flyover, it will take us at least 20-30 minutes to cross the whole stretch walking. The stairs are another option, but those who are aware about their condition do not use it. It is risky, and one eventually ends up walking across the railway tracks,” Sharma, a resident of Rajendra Park, Sector 105, said.
Locals said that no government intervention had taken place to tend to the stairs. “The stairs have been deteriorating over the years. However, the damage became grave during the past year. Some thieves steal the grills during the night. It’s much more difficult to use the stairs at night. However, there is no guard to put an end to this menace,” Yadav, a resident of Delhi who comes to Gurugram for work, said.
Showing ignorance about the damage sustained by the stairs, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) chief engineer ND Vashist said that the civic body would allocate funds to get it repaired. “I wasn’t aware about the problem till now. However, we will get it repaired at the earliest. We will get an estimate prepared soon, and get the repairs done,” Vashist added.
A footbridge, few kilometers away from these stairs, is being constructed as an alternative for commuters. SS Rohilla, public relations officer (PRO) of MCG, said that once completed, the footbridge would allow pedestrians to skip the tracks.
“There are many colonies such as Swaroop Garden, Rajendra Park and Vishnu Garden, among others on the other side of the railway station. Residents of these colonies do not have any alternative to cross the tracks. If they take the Daulatabad flyover, the distance and time increases significantly. Moreover, there is a lot of traffic movement on the flyover. The new footbridge would help residents of the colonies skip the station and reach the other side,” the PRO said.
However, only some portions of the new footbridge has been constructed, and residents said that the project was proceeding at a slow pace. “It’s been more than a year since we got to know about the new footbridge. However, it is yet to come up. It has been an endless wait ,” said JP Joshi, who lives in Swaroop Garden, next to the railway station.