For thousands of commuters using Charni Road railway station, pinching their noses while making their way on platform number one has become a daily routine. Thanks to a blocked sewage pipe at the toilets, which has been caused by the railway’s negligence, they have to suffer the unbearable stench.
For the last two months, the toilet block on platform one has been shut and only the urinal is open to the public. This was due to railway authorities taking up crucial shifting of a railway utility, which is part of the overall upgradation of the station.
To replace a 50-year-old rusted overhead mast (the vertical pole on which the cables supplying electricity to trains rests), the railway workers dug a pit next to it so that they could put in a new mast there. But during the excavation, the sewage pipe of the toilet block got damaged. To rectify the problem, they put some concrete to secure the pipe that led to the toilet line getting choked, which is now causing a big stink.
Western Railway (WR) officials said that the pit has clogged up the sewer line that goes beneath platform one, making its way under the railway tracks, and which then connects to the civic body’s main sewage line on the other side.
“The choked line is not getting cleared due to the improper cementing and damage to the sewage line,” said a WR official. The end result, according to WR sources, is that apart from the smell, commuters are agitated due to the non-functional toilet block at such an important railway station.
WR sources added that the condition has deteriorated since September, as commuters are approaching the station officials, toilet attendants to give them a earful. Ironically, this problem surfaced at around the same time the Passenger Amenities Committee visited the railway stations on WR for inspection.
When questioned about the situation, the railway staff at the stationmaster’s office claimed that they have already informed the higher-ups to undertake the necessary repairs. “Replacement of the mast will be completed within 15 days. It is complicated work as it requires working near running railway lines,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.