Action Stations: Lacunae at Lower Parel
The Western Railway station sees corporate employees, shopaholics and foodies alight here, making it a vital halt for people across the spectrum
With a number of pilgrim, fashion, health and food landmarks located nearby in addition to corporate and media houses, Lower Parel station sees a diverse demographic of commuters every day.
Padma Thomas, media professional who commutes to the station says, “The roads leading to the station from both the East as well as the West are very crowded with errant bikers and sellers. Getting to the station walking is dangerous as there is no place to walk due to the footpaths being taken over by sellers.”
The slope of the foot overbridge towards the Virar side makes rushing for trains tough. Pics/Satyajit Desai
The toilet at Lower Parel station is always locked. Sunder Prakash, a salesman says, “Lower Parel has both the ladies and gents toilets locked at all times. Many men relieve themselves on the tracks behind platform 1, but women do not have any option.”
Getting to the bridge from the Churchgate end is a problem due to the lack of connectivity with the bridge far from it
Anita Sutar, a fashion designer says, “There is a famous mall at Lower Parel so I know of many friends who walk 15 minutes and go to the mall washroom. The toilets at the station have been locked for over a year now. Absence of basic sanitation is sad.”
The platform-train distance is more near certain compartments on platform 1
Teacher Jamna Pandit says, “My school commences at 8 am and is in the Kala Chowky area, I have developed urine infection and kidney stones as I am unable to use a washroom. If Lower Parel railway station’s toilet was open, I could have used it to relieve myself. I travel 2.5 hours to work as I live in Virar, this situation is causing me health problems.”
The ticket counters work well
“The bridge towards the Churchgate side of Lower Parel station is incomplete, which makes getting to the West a big problem. The East side connection of the bridge has a very dirty path with many people defecating there; also the lighting in the night is bad. Sometimes you end up stepping on crap,” says Wanda Thakur, an architect.
Stock market expert Dipesh Gangar who commutes to the station often says, “One bridge is incomplete and doesn’t have a ticket counter nor smart card machines. If one has to get tickets , then they have to take the other bridge. The food stalls are also bad. The quality needs to improve.”
Trupti Modak, a make up artist says, “The samosas and vada pavs are always stale. I had food poisoning a few days ago after eating at the stall on platform 1. I now avoid eating at the stations. The railways need to look into the food sold at the stations. It should be healthy and of good quality.”
“The first bridge at Lower Parel is troublesome when it comes to figuring out which train has come since there are no indicators. I often have to run down for a train when I spot the time and destination on the platform indicator,” says Gangar.
With the bridge towards the Virar end of the platform, many people cross the tracks towards both the East and West sides. Mithibai College student Naitik Buricha who goes to Lower Parel often says, “The gap between the train and platform is uneven towards the Churchgate side. One has to step really high to get in.
The track crossing at Lower Parel is very perilous. There should be some hoardings warning people against crossing and fines imposed on all those who cross tracks.” Lalbaug resident Pushpa More says, “The foot overbridge is too far from the first compartment towards Churchgate.
Crossing the tracks is unsafe, but a faster option. I am very careful when I cross the tracks and only do it when I am running late.” Media professional Tanya Singh finds the station unsafe post 10:30 pm. She says, “The roads leading to the station are lonely.
Walking to the ladies compartment towards the Churchgate side on the deserted platform 1 is very creepy. I prefer taking a cab to Dadar to avoid any untoward incident at the station. Better safe than sorry.” Lower Parel station has a number of problems that makes commuting a headache. These need to be addresses soon so the station is better equipped to provide quality services to commuters.
This is part of our ongoing series on railway stations seen through the eyes of commuters.
List of problems
>> The new foot overbridge is incomplete with a connection to the West not yet done.
>> The washrooms are always closed.
>> There is no ticket counter or smart card machine on the new bridge.
>> Getting transport from outside the station is difficult.
Dr Pradeep Gadge, Consultant Diabetologist, Gadge’s Diabetes Centre, Goregoan says, “The urinary bladder has the capacity to hold about 500 ml of urine. Holding urine for a long period of time stretches the bladder. The reflex mechanism in the bladder sends a signal to the brain when it is full, which then urges you to urinate. But if you keep yourself from urinating often, your body might lose the ability to know when it is time to urinate.
The longer you hold your urine, the more the chances of having urinary tract infections, cystitis (bladder infection). Women are more likely to hold their urine due to hygiene concerns or when the washrooms at railway stations are closed increasing their risks of getting urinary tract infections. Also, elderly people are more prone to urinary infections and not urinating on time can cause complications for them.”