The swanky new building of the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus threw open its doors to the public on August 15, and while offices, booking counters and the enquiry have been relocated to these fancy new premises, certain important passenger amenities have been left out in the cold.
The bookstall, medical shop, cloakroom and Jan Aahar counter are still in the old building, yet to be shifted. The owners of these shops claim that they are running huge losses, and earning 5-10% of their earlier revenues – their losses are so great they can’t even recover their rent. Everyday, nearly 1.5 lakh passengers use the LTT station to either book tickets or board their trains. Railway authorities shifted the booking and staff offices into the new building, but left the passenger amenities behind in their old spots.
The shopkeepers claim that they have not even been allotted space to shift into. “We are in a very bad condition. Earlier we were earning well, depending upon the number of passengers use the station. But since the day the booking counters and station started operating away from our shops, our business has gone down by almost 90 per cent,” said one of the employee of the stalls not shifted to the new building.
Close to Rs 24 crore was spent on the new building of the LTT station. “I am not able to run my household with such meagre earnings. This has created a lot of pressure on us. We have written a letter to the authorities and are in constant touch with them, but nothing has been done yet. We are waiting for our spots to be approved. We will be happy even if we are allotted some space in the platform,” said another stall owner, requesting anonymity.
Passengers are also being inconvenienced. Vinay Pandey, who was at the station to boarding a train and arrived two hours early, said, “I am sitting at the station waiting for my train. I have no idea where the book stall is.” The absence of a chemist store is also a source of concern. Prajakta Sonawane, a passenger, was found searching for a druggist’s store so she could buy something for her splitting headache.
Atul Rane, chief PRO, CR, said, “Passenger amenities like seating benches, air-circular fans, booking and enquiry counters, Jan Aahar cafeteria, waiting halls, toilets and AC retiring rooms and dormitories are already available in the new building at LTT. Shifting of stalls is not feasible as per the catering policy.”
Did you know?
> The original Kurla Terminus was inaugurated in the 1980s.
> In 1996, the BMC approved a proposal to rename the station after Lokmanya Tilak.
> CR then built a fifth and sixth line to connect LTT with Thane.
> CR approved plans for a swanky new terminus building in 2006, and work began in 2007.
> The state also agreed to provide better connectivity by giving an arm of the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road to the terminus.
> The new station complex was built on 50,000-sq-metres of land with a 3,300-sq-metre concourse.
> It has five turbo ventilators to draw out hot air.
> It also has food courts and retiring rooms for passengers, and a huge mural designed by students of the J J School of Arts.
> The revamp took three years.
Rs 24 cr
Cost incurred for constructing the new LTT building
Approximate no of passengers per day
Trains starting from and arriving at LTT every day
No of public toilets