Moving stairs at Tatanagar refuse to move

The escalators on platforms 1 and 3 fail to function for the better part of the day

By Pinaki Majumdar in Jamshedpur
  • Published 27.12.18, 1:17 AM
  • Updated 27.12.18, 1:17 AM
  • a min read
The escalator on Platform 1 at Tatanagar station on Wednesday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta

The twin escalators at A1 Tatanagar station are giving a tough time to passengers instead of making things a bit more comfortable.

The moving stairs on platforms 1 and 3 fail to function for the better part of the day, causing inconvenience to passengers, especially the elderly.

“The escalators were introduced with the hope of helping passengers, especially the aged and the indisposed. But it is failing to serve the purpose as most of the time we find it static for reasons best known to the railway authorities,” said Satnam Singh, a local businessman who frequently travels by train from Tatanagar.

Several passengers complained that the escalators fail to operate even during rush hours.

“Last week, I had to catch the Howrah-bound Janshatabdi Express. After reaching platform 1, I found the escalator was not working . I was travelling with my elderly father and was also carrying a heavy luggage. We had to use the elevator, which took us to the footbridge from where we reached platform 3 to board the train,” Shrabona Chatterjee, an IT professional and a resident of Kadma, said.

Sources at Tatanagar station revealed that the escalators hardly functioned for three-four hours a day and blamed it on the misuse of the emergency buttons by poor kids that stay on the station premises.

Admitting the problem, station director H.K. Balmuchu said, “Because of some technical problems, both the escalators fail to run smoothly throughout the day. Sometimes the escalators get locked and staff from the private firm, which had installed the moving stairs and looks after their maintenance, need to be called for repair,” Balmuchu said.

On the allegation of misuse of the escalator buttons by kids, Balmuchu said, “To stop such misuse, we had thought of deploying our staff for manning the escalators, but it did not materialise because of manpower constraints.”

The installation of two escalators, imported from China, had cost around Rs 1.50 crore.

The escalator on platform 1 began operations in the end of 2016 while the other one was introduced last year.

Tatanagar was the first station in Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway to have the escalator facility.

The fact that it is the only A1 station in the division with a daily footfall of around 50,000 passengers worked in its favour.