By January 2014, climbing flights of stairs on congested foot over-bridges will be less of a hassle for the 75-lakh commuters boarding local trains on Central and Western Railway, thanks to the installation of escalators at railway stations. At present, the escalators are operational at Thane and Vile Parle and one at Kandivli, connecting the skywalk to the station’s foot over-bridge.
The railways have planned to install escalators at Dombivli (one more), Kalyan, Dadar, Vikhroli on the central line and Dadar, Borivli and Andheri on the western line. “We are looking at commissioning these escalators one by one by January,” said Mukesh Nigam, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), central railway.
At each of these stations, the escalators will be installed and made open to the public in the upcoming months. The approximate cost of each escalator is around Rs 80 lakh. According to Central Railway (CR) authorities, there has been a huge demand for escalators. The Thane escalator alone receives a footfall of 40,000 commuters every day. The escalator is operational between 6 am to 10 pm. Initially, the escalators suffered from technical problems due to over-burdening of people using it. To solve this, a guard was hired to man the escalator so that the equipment doesn’t halt abruptly.
Sources said that people don’t rush while taking the escalator now, and move about harmoniously without pushing, unlike on a foot over-bridge.
“The demand for an escalator at Vile Parle is good. We will be opening three other escalators by December,” said Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), western railway.
The reason for the sudden surge in installation of escalators is not only due to public demand, but also due to efforts from local politicians, who see this as a way to appease the public. On October 7, the plaque outside the inaugurated escalator at Dombivli had names only of the ministers, MPs, and the local mayor of Kalyan-Dombivli.
Rs 80 lakh
The approximate cost of each escalator
Escalators coming soon
CR: Dombivli (1), Kalyan (2), Dadar (2) and Vikhroli (1)
WR: Dadar (1), Andheri (1) and Borivli (1)