| Escalator construction work on at Bhubaneswar railway station. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, Dec. 11: The sight of passengers pushing and shoving one another on the platforms of the Bhubaneswar railway station to reach the footbridges would be a thing of past once two escalators get installed there.
The project launched by the East Coast Railway (EcoR) at an estimated cost of Rs 1 crore is expected to be completed by March next year. The escalators are being installed on platform I and IV to provide easy access to people to the foot overbridges, which connect all the four platforms at the station.
“During peak hours, people using the foot overbridges need to make their way through a sea of humanity. But with the escalators in place, they do not need to walk the distance to the top of foot overbridges. At the same time, it will benefit elderly commuters,” said a senior official of the Khurda Road division.
Passengers too feel that an escalator will be of great help. “We have to walk a lot at the station. Sometimes it is hard when there is rush. But with the escalators, we can directly get out of the station after passing taking the foot overbridges,” said Subhrakant Mahalik, a passenger.
Sources in the ECoR said that at present about 7 lakh passengers depend on the railway station every month. More than 120 trains originate or pass through the Bhubaneswar railway station everyday.
Earlier the ECoR had proposed a master plan to upgrade the existing Bhubaneswar railway station over the next three years.
The master plan includes a multi-level parking, a new station building, two additional platforms and a flyover on Master Canteen roundabout. The railways had also estimated a cost of Rs 205 crore for the modernisation.
The multi-storey parking lot can accommodate more than 4,000 two wheelers and nearly 900 cars. Similarly, the master plan also states to have five-second class air-conditioned waiting halls having a capacity of 200 passengers each and will also have adequate number of multi-cuisine food kiosks, bookshops and medicine shops.
Chief public relation officer of EcoR R.N. Mohapatra said the railway authorities had been trying to provide passenger-friendly facilities at the Bhubaneswar railway station. “The provision for installation of escalators have been made during this year’s budget and the work is scheduled to be completed by March 31 next year,” said Mohapatra.