A passenger is forced to stand under the sun, as platforms 2 and 3 have no cover on Monday. (Animesh Sengupta)
Next time while catching a train to Delhi or Mumbai or Calcutta, don’t forget your humble umbrella.
Tatanagar’s platforms No. 2 and 3 at the Chakradharpur-end don’t have overhead sheds for more than three weeks now. So, if it is sunny, you risk a tan. If it’s the pesky western disturbance bringing unseasonal showers, you and your luggage get wet.
The two platforms host important trains — New Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express, Mumbai-bound Duronto and Geetanjali Express as well as Howrah-Titlagarh Ispat Superfast Express.
Last month, as a part of a renovation plan, asbestos sheds were removed from the two platforms with the aim of replacing them with galvanised ones. Made of iron and coated with zinc, they prevent corrosion.
So far, they are nowhere to be seen. As the trains stop at these platforms in the afternoons, passengers are left weathering the elements.
“Though it is February, it’s unbearable to stand under the sky waiting for a train. The weather is unpredictable, sunny or cloudy or drizzling. It will soon get warmer. The railways should take immediate steps to put overhead sheds,” said Anamika Sharma, waiting for New Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express on Monday.
Railway sources admitted that during last week’s surprise rain, many passengers grumbled about wet luggage or getting soaked. Many ran to take shelter under the foot overbridge.
In December 2012, Chakradharpur division embarked on the revamp project to replace the asbestos sheets with galvanised ones on five platforms. It was a task long overdue as they had been left untouched for two decades.
So far, work on platform No. 1 is fully over. But platforms No. 2 and 3 are not as lucky.
Assistant engineer R.P. Meena, looking after the facelift project, told The Telegraph that the consignment of galvanised sheets had arrived.
“They will be fitted soon. There was some delay in payment to the supplier. We are aware of the problems faced by passengers in the absence of any overhead shed. We are making all efforts to install the sheets as early as possible,” he told The Telegraph.
He added that Rs 1 crore was being pumped into the project.
Chhotanagpur Passenger Association senior functionary S.P. Trivedi, while welcoming the move of the railways to revamp the sheds, said it was unfortunate that there was a time lag between dismantling the old and installing the new.
“Platforms without overhead sheds inconveniences travellers, especially the elderly, women and children. We will take up the issue with railway authorities soon.”
Tatanagar, an A-category and the only model railway station under Chakradharpur railway division of South Eastern Railway (SER), sees 36 pairs of passenger trains and a footfall of over 50,000 passengers everyday.