Mumbai: New foot overbridge at Kurla, Thane stations leads straight to men's toilet
New FOBs at Kurla and Thane stations lead straight to the men's washroom, giving commuters an eyeful of the goings on inside
Commuters are forced to stare right into the men's loo while descending from the FOB at Kurla station
Women commuters in Mumbai always get the crappiest deal, and now they have to put up with the shitty view from the new foot overbridge (FOB) at Kurla station. The multi-crore FOB on the Kalyan-end leads directly to the entrance of the men's toilet, and commuters are forced to stare right into the loo as they head down the stairs to platform 2. Thanks to this, many women have now stopped using the FOB altogether.
The Kurla FOB is not the only example of bad planning by the railway authorities — at Thane station, one end of the new FOB lands at the entrance to the men's urinal, while the other end is a death trap, with iron rods jutting out. At both stations, the men's loo blocks easy access to the FOB, and commuters cannot escape either the stench or the unfortunate view of the interiors of the toilet.
Iron rods jutting out at the FOB at Thane station
Commuters raise a stink
"It is so sad that before spending so much money, no thought or planning seems to have happened as to where the bridge landings and access open up. I am sure someone must have surveyed the area, but that person either did not understand the layout or was just insensitive enough to ignore it," said Sarla Aniket Joshi, a commuter from Nehru Nagar, Kurla. "I just passed through the stretch once and never used it again. This just shows how insensitive the railway officials are," she added.
Divisional railway officials said the Kurla bridge was built under the trespass control programme by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and is very helpful in decongesting the station.
Turns out, whether you're a man or woman, the FOB's location is causing problems to everyone. "The FOB is no doubt helpful, but has been built without a thought. While many women have stopped using this particular landing, many men have also stopped using the public toilet, as it exposes them to a sea of commuters alighting from the bridge," said another commuter, Rakesh Mohan.
At Thane station, the new bridge is at the CSMT-end (south end) of the station, and at least two of its landings are problematic. "The staircase on platform 1 has a number of iron rods jutting out at the head level and they could be dangerous to unsuspecting commuters. This is negligence by the railways," said Ravi Tripathi, a Thane commuter.
He added, "As for platform 2, the FOB staircase lands right front of the toilet block. The toilet should be shifted so that commuters using the FOB do not have to pass by it."
Sunil Udasi, CR's chief public relations officer, said that the concerned toilet blocks would be relocated soon. "The railways are already in the process of shifting these toilet blocks. As a temporary measure, we will try to install a partition or view-cutter." However, this is not enough, according to Subhash Gupta, former member of the Central Railway's Zonal Railway Users' Consultative Committee (ZRUCC), who blasted the railways and demanded that the responsible officers be pulled up. "The railways should shift the concerned toilet blocks immediately and stop making a mockery of passenger amenities. Whoever planned the FOB in this manner should be dealt with strongly," Gupta said.