Though the new escalator managed to create a stir, commuters are facing some teething problems in getting used to the new facility
The new escalator at Borivli station, inaugurated on Monday between platform 4 and 5, saw a mixed bag of reactions yesterday. Sari-clad women stepped on it gingerly while children cavorted on the escalator taking a joyride.
The rush to use the newly inaugurated escalator at Borivli station. Pic/Swarali Purohit
As crowds swelled yesterday afternoon, with the arrival of express trains heading to Gujarat, the escalator groaned under their weight, grinding to a halt sporadically. A few commuters accidentally pushed the emergency stop buttons at either end, adding to the chaos.
Asif Vohra, a Vasai businessman who travels to Borivli daily, says commuters need to be very cautious while using the escalator. “The railways should appoint guards to man the escalator for some time at least, cautioning commuters to not accidentally press the stop buttons, take care of their children and help the aged,” he said.
The escalator, which ascends from platform number 4, say commuters, does not fulfil its entire function because there is no corresponding descending escalator. “It’s pointless to install an escalator that just goes up.
People with luggage alight at Borivli daily and dragging down suitcases on staircases is difficult. Also, the escalators should have been wider to accommodate the rush hour crowd,” said Surendra Naik, a resident of Borivli, who was travelling to Vapi.
The escalator was big enough to allow two persons on a step at a time, yet given the crowds at our local stations, a wider escalator will always be on the commuter wish-list.
There was a Dos and Don’ts notice at the foot of the escalator which told commuters not to carry their luggage on the escalator; advice, say the technicians in the technical room behind the escalator, no one pays heed to.
Borivli station already has one escalator on Platform 1, which was inaugurated in December 2013. It remains closed quite often through the day, though. When this reporter saw it, it was not functioning and there was debris piled on it.
“I hope this new escalator doesn’t wind up like the first one. The Railways needs to upgrade their infrastructure if the country wants to be at par with others; installing escalators is a positive step. Those using them for the first time should exercise caution,” said Sanjay Maheshwari from Borivli.
Overall, though, the sentiment seemed positive, as the crowds rode out of the station for their Diwali shopping, not quite out of breath.
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