Though the higher-ups in the Indian Railway are upbeat about installing lifts at important stations on the Central Railway, local authorities managing the suburban stations do not appear to share the same enthusiasm.

An escalator being installed at Dadar station. Local CR officials claimed unlike lifts — which require additional space escalators should replace FOBs. File Pic
An escalator being installed at Dadar station. Local CR officials claimed unlike lifts — which require additional space escalators should replace FOBs. File Pic

A tender for installing 27 lifts at key stations on the central line is expected to be floated in the new fiscal. But officials fear that lifts will further clog the densely crowded stations during peak hours. Sources in the CR claimed the lifts would consume a lot of space, which the stations do not have.

“The lifts will take additional space on the already narrow platforms, inconveniencing commuters,” a senior CR official said. Local CR authorities claim the lifts will be installed next to the stairs of foot over-bridges (FOBs). The FOBs landing on the platforms are close to the tracks despite adhering to dimensions prescribed by the railway board.

The dimensions are set with the intention that commuters are able to move freely on the platforms after alighting from trains. “Escalators are a good option, as they replace FOBs. But lifts next to the existing FOBs will consume additional space. Our stations are already facing space crunch,” said another CR official.

The CR has asked the Railway Board to conduct a feasibility study before implementing the project, as it could worsen crowd management at stations. But sources claimed that the Railway Board has already asked the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) to verify these issues. “The CRS told us to go ahead with the proposed project of installing lifts. The installation will commence soon,” said a CR official.