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Sunday, 22 May 2016

State’s first railway escalator goes to sleep - VIJAYWADA

Stranded:Passengers using the staircase on Platform Number 1 at Vijayawada Railway Station as the escalator goes out of order. —Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar
Stranded:Passengers using the staircase on Platform Number 1 at Vijayawada Railway Station as the escalator goes out of order

Passengers, particularly the aged and physically challenged, feel the pinch

It has become a source of disappointment for hundreds of passengers. Racing against time, they look forward to a little relief before rushing on to the footbridge. But the “out of order” board at the escalator hits them like a slap in the face.

Those who are forced to take the steps groan with disappointment.

The escalator on the first platform at the Vijayawada railway station has been defunct for quite some time, causing a lot of problems to the passengers. People are nowadays greeted with the ‘out of order’ board on a daily basis.

Passengers, particularly the aged, physically challenged and pregnant women, experience hardship while climbing up with their baggage, especially during rush hours.

Spare parts are not available

Railway officials said that spare parts were not available for the escalator, which outlived its utility.

“It is the first escalator in South Central Railway which was set up in 2000 by the then Railway Minister 
Nitish Kumar,” said a senior railway official.

Vijayawada station is the second busiest railway junction in the Indian Railways next to Mumbai Central and is categorised as an A-1 station. It is also one of the ten model stations in the division.

The station caters to the various needs of 250 trains that carry passengers and 150 trains that carry freight. On an average, 1.40 lakh passengers board, alight or just pass through the station.

Escalators are important not only for those who find it difficult to negotiate steps while carrying luggage, but to prevent staircases from becoming bottle-necks.

“Though I came in advance to the station, I got held up at the steps leading to the foot bridge and by the time I got on to the platform the train had left,” said Kanakamahalakshmi who came from Kankipadu to catch a train.

The few lifts that are working are the only source of relief for the aged and the infirm.

“As the city is in the heart of the new capital, railway authorities should improve the passenger amenities without further delay,” said a retired employee.

Source : The Hindu, 21st May 2016 

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