| Work in progress at Patna Junction on Monday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
A gift, make that two, await passengers passing through Patna Junction in the new year.
To ensure easy movement, Indian Railways is working on installing two escalators at platform numbers 1 and 10 at Patna Junction. The escalators, coming up at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore would be opened to the public by the end of the January next year.
At platform number 1, passengers would find the escalator near the reservation office on the western flank. It will connect to a foot over bridge that would take them to all the other platforms. Taking the escalator at platform number 10, passengers will reach the middle foot over bridge.
The project has been delayed by a couple of weeks.
An official of the agency, which has been assigned the work of installing the escalators, said: “The deadline to complete the work on the escalators was December 31. The facilities were to be launched in the first week of January as a New Year’s gift. But we faced some problems which led to the delay. Now the escalators would be opened by the end of January next year. Work is on in full swing.”
At present, different units of the escalators have reached Danapur division and would be assembled once the stairs beside the escalators are complete.
Passengers welcomed the railway’s initiative for Patna Junction, one of the busiest railway stations in the country. Animesh Singh, a regular passenger at Patna Junction, said: “It will bring a big relief. We would no longer have to take the pain of climbing the stairs.”
Vikas Kumar, a resident of Samastipur district who was passing through Patna Junction on Monday, said: “The escalators would help us save money on getting porters to carry our luggage. We always avoid carrying our own luggage while climbing the stairs, but that would no longer be the case once the escalators become functional.”
Escalators are installed at railway stations in Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Vijayawada. A senior officer of the Danapur division of East Central Railway said: “The railways have planned to install escalators at platform numbers 3 and 5 after this project.”
Patna Junction stationmaster Raju said: “Patna Junction receives a footfall of around 1.75 lakh every day with 300 pairs of train passing through here. The escalators would be a big relief for the passengers.”
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