The escalator on Ranchi’s platform No. 1 inches closer to launch. Picture by Hardeep Singh
This monsoon, it is technology deluge at Ranchi station.
The A-category railway junction, which hosts 53 pairs of trains and caters to a daily passenger traffic of 10,000, will hop on escalator convenience from next month.
On a rainy Monday, engineers were seen fixing the moving stairway that would connect platform one to two and three. The machine has been laid and it is expected to receive power supply soon.
“The project is in its final leg. In all likelihood, we will finish work by the end of this month. The escalator will be up and running in September,” said railway engineer Sanatan Aind who is overseeing electrical jobs.
Once this escalator becomes functional, the team of railway engineers will start work for setting up a second on platforms four and five, located on the southern side of the station.
The South Eastern Railway is lavishing Rs 1.25 crore on the entire passenger-friendly project.
However, both escalators will only be used to reach the footbridge that connects the platforms. Passengers will have to use existing staircases while coming down.
“The twin escalators will be a boon for the elderly, the indisposed and passengers with heavy luggage, particularly when porters are too few at Ranchi station,” said Ashok Nagpal, the vice-president of Chotanagpur Passenger Association.
At present, there are two walkways — one on the eastern side of the station and the other on the west near Birsa Food Plaza — that are used by passengers to go from one platform to another.
While the eastern walkway connects all the five platforms with each other, the one on the western side only connects platform one with two and three.
This walkway will be extended to the other two platforms at a cost of Rs 80 lakh, which has been sanctioned by the railway ministry.