The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 1 , 2014
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Patience test for passengers
Toilet teaser on Danapur platforms

The prospect of boarding trains from Danapur could send passengers into depression because of poor basics.

An “A” grade station under East Central Railway (ECR), Danapur — a divisional headquarters of railways — lacks basic passenger facilities, including escalator, subway, digital train indication board and coach indicator. Neither it has retiring rooms, nor cloakroom. Worse, two of its platforms — No. 4 and 5 — are devoid of any toilet. Passengers have to climb either of the two overbdridges — one of them wooden and rickety — and go to other platforms to answer nature’s call.

The urinal for platforms 2 and 3 is in a bad shape and people avoid using it. Against this backdrop, commuters are left with no other option but to use the toilet on platform No. 1.

South Bihar Express (13288), Danapur-Howrah Superfast Express (12352) and Capital Express (13246) most of the days originate from either platform No. 4 or 5. The passengers waiting for these trains have to climb around a hundred stairs to answer nature’s call.

Women passengers, especially those travelling with children, are the worst sufferers. “Climbing overbridge with kids just for the sake of going to the loo is an unacceptable proposition in the 21st century,” said a mother of two. Several male passengers agreed.

“The railways is not bothered about providing facilities to the passengers; they just want to collect revenue by increasing the fare. We do not mind paying more but they should at least provide proper facilities. It is disgusting to change platforms for using the lavatory,” said Arvind Agarwal, a resident of Biharsharif.

Giving a patient hearing to the passengers’ plight, Danapur divisional railway manager N.K. Gupta said: “I shall look into the matter. We do not want people to use the open space for answering to the nature’s call.”

Danapur is an important station of East Central Railway. As many as 18 express trains originate from the station and 194 trains pass through it. Between 50,000 and 70,000 commuters use it every day.

Apart from toilets, Danapur station lacks several basic amenities available at most of the stations housing division railway headquarters. The Kharagpur Junction station — a divisional headquarters of South Eastern Railway in Bengal — is equipped with basic amenities like escalator, subway, digital train indication board coach indicator and retiring rooms. It has a spacious parking lot, too.

A parking space has been developed on the southern side of Danapur station, connecting Khagaul Road. But there is no ticket counter at that end of the station. Even the public address system has not been working properly for the past one month at the station.

“Two years ago, we had heard that the Danapur railway station would be developed as the central station of the division and there was a master plan to revamp it. But now everything appears confined to files. We have complained to the senior officials of ECR several times but no measures have been taken so far in this regard,” said Shuiab Quraishi, the secretary of Bihar Daily Passengers’ Association.

Several daily passengers echoed Quraishi. One among them said the Danapur station should be revamped immediately. “There should be toilets on every platform. A new overbridge should be constructed and train indication boards should be installed immediately,” he added.

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