Catching a train at the bustling Pune railway station can be quite a challenge for anyone, but navigating the crowded platforms and foot over-bridges (FOBs) is especially hard for senior citizens, pregnant women and differently-abled commuters. Within six months however, these passengers could find the station far more welcoming, with several new upgrades in the works.
Ramping it up: The new foot over-bridge will be built with ramps, which means senior citizens, pregnant women and differently-abled passengers will no longer have to battle stairs and crowds at the old FOBs
For starters, a new FOB being constructed towards the Daund end of Pune station will likely be operational in six months. Yogendra Kumar Singh, public relations officer for the Pune railway division said, “The FOB is being constructed at the cost of R89 lakh, to ease the traffic at the station. Currently, more than 150 trains pass through Pune Railway Station, so we urgently need the new bridge.”
The FOB will not only ease the pressure of overcrowding at existing bridges, it will also improve accessibility, connecting all six platforms. Ease of access seems to be the main goal behind the upgrade, with four new battery-operated vehicles being acquired to ferry senior citizens, pregnant women and differently-abled commuters across the station.
The new FOB will have a levelled ramp in place that will allow the buggies smoother access to the different areas in the station. “As of now, Pune station has only one battery-operated car, but looking at the demand from passengers, we need more. The ramp will help us to better cater to the needs of the passengers,” said Singh, who added that four escalators would also be installed at the station for the convenience of commuters.
Praveen Suvarna, a Sangvi resident said, “The new foot over-bridge will be a boon for railway passengers, as the existing bridge is old and narrow. It is a nightmare to make our way through the crowds there; the new FOB is the need of the hour.”
“The new bridge and the ramp will mean that the senior citizens and the differently-abled will not have to wait too long for their turn on the battery-operated cars, as they can run more smoothly and faster on the ramps,” said Anshuman Khalko, a resident of Baner.