Lucknow Metro: Need to go the extra mile for better connectivity
Metro users will have to rely on autos, buses and their own vehicles to reach stations. But this won’t be an easy task considering that so far there’s no feeder service and only three out of eight stations have parking space.Updated: Aug 31, 2017 18:04 IST
The city of nawabs is set to take a giant leap to enter the metro rail era but there are a few problem areas that need to be addressed to make the ride smooth.
One such issue is of last-mile connectivity which, if not resolved soon, will create traffic bottlenecks at metro stations.
“The issue of last-mile connectivity is similar to after sales service. If a product is sold and the complaints are not entertained smartly, then the sale is not worth it,” said Rajeev Mishra, a senior citizen from the old city area.
“There will be rush at certain points once metro gets started. However, there seems to be no arrangement to cater to the increased load. There is no planning to ensure the availability of public transport at these points and if arrangements have been made, the people should be informed about it,” he added.
Mishra said every station was the last mile for a metro user and connectivity meant the availability of public transport to allow a person reach his respective destination.
Senior officers from Northern Railway (NR) and other departments have also raised the issue.
When HT looked into the issue, it was found that the issue was grave but could be tackled.
Lucknow has eight world-class metro stations aimed at ensuring better connectivity from one corner of the city to the other.
Last-mile connectivity is a major issue at almost every station, barring the ones which have their own parking lots. But here too, there will be many passengers who don’t have their own vehicles and have to depend on public transport to reach their respective destinations.
Metro authorities do not have a solution to the problem as yet. According to Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) records, 6,44,659 commuters will ride the metro daily. By 2030, the figure will go up by 4 lakh.
Records also suggest that metro would bring down the number of vehicles making city roads congestion-free.
It was in 2015 that LMRC and district administration chalked out a plan for feeder buses which the Corporation had termed as the “key to success”.
LMRC had also hired a consultant to prepare a plan for feeder services but it failed to hit the ground.
“Our plan was to discourage people from using their own vehicles as it will reduce parking problem at the station. However, the plan did not materialise,” said a senior administrative officer who was a part of the planning.
Several departments including the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA), Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) and Public Works Department (PWD) had joined hands for the feeder bus service plan.
Out of eight, the three major stations where last-mile connectivity is a major concern are Shringar Nagar, Transport Nagar and Alambagh bus station.
This station tops the list of problem areas, not only in terms of last-mile connectivity but also due to its location. It is perhaps the only station in Lucknow to have one-sided entry and exit points.
LMRC officials said they did not get land on the other side of the station to set up entry point. Therefore, the station was given single-sided entry and exit points which may make the situation chaotic. The station has no parking lot which means the passengers boarding or de-boarding at the station will have to depend on public transport, the availability of which is a big question.
“This will be one of the most crammed stations. I really doubt if the authorities will be able to handle the rush of passengers,” said Khushwant Singh Bagga, a local resident.
The station connects areas like Sneh Nagar, Nahar, Gopal Nagar, Geetapalli and Puran Nagar.
This station also faces the problem of last-mile connectivity. Being the first station, it is expected to have a massive footfall. Since the station lacks a dedicated parking lot, metro users will surely face a problem here. The station is located on the outskirts and connects areas like Krishna Nagar, Amausi, Sarojini Nagar, Shanti Nagar and Banthra.
However, officials at the station claimed the area had a well-connected public transport system but were silent on its round-the-clock availability.
ALAMBAGH BUS STAND
Alambagh bus stand is one of the most congested locations connecting Tedhi Pulia, Adarsh Nagar, Rail Nagar, Railway Colony and Central Powerhouse.
The area will also house one of the biggest bus stations in UP that is expected to increase the passenger load manifolds. Though the station has a dedicated parking lot but adequate availability of public transport to cater to the increased rush of passengers will be a big question.