Mumbai: Senior citizens taste victory as Western Railway kicks off work on escalators

Updated: Nov 07, 2019, 08:10 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Senior citizens had been demanding escalators at the station for the past five years. Greater height of new FOBs had made their commute worse

Senior citizens had been demanding escalators at Jogeshwari station for five years. Pics/ Nimesh Dave
Senior citizens had been demanding escalators at Jogeshwari station for five years. Pics/ Nimesh Dave

A battle being waged by senior citizens from Jogeshwari to get escalators at the station for the past five years finally bore fruit on Sunday after the Western Railway (WR) carried out a ground inspection and promised to get the escalators installed at the earliest.

WR's Mumbai divisional manager Sunil Kumar personally visited the site and also called senior citizens who had spearheaded the battle to assess the spot. Two foot-over bridges (FOB), one at the Virar-end and one at the middle will get escalators on the west side.

Senior citizen and railway passenger activist Mansoor Umer Darvesh, who had been visiting Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Railway Manager's office consistently to keep tabs on the smallest developments and following up on the issue, was a happy man. "I am glad that things have finally worked out. It has been quite a battle, but the escalators were really required on the west side where there is much traffic. I also thank mid-day for having continuously supported and highlighted the issue," Darvesh said.

mid-day has been reporting on the lack of escalators at the station. What exacerbated their problems, senior citizens say, were the new FOBs, which were higher than the old ones.

It took time for the issue to get resolved as the area where the railway station's escalators were to land belongs to the BMC, which gave its nod in July. The process had also come to a standstill since the monsoon began.

MansoorPassenger activist Mansoor Umer Darvesh. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

Darvesh, who is the secretary of the Fort-based Passenger and Traffic Relief Association and a resident of Goregaon West, had been visiting both, the Railways and the BMC and following up with what both said. "Four escalators had been planned at Jogeshwari station. Three in the west and one in the east. While work on the escalator in the east is done, the problem with the west side was that the Railways had to wait for BMC's permission," he said.

"I had written my first letter for the escalators to the WR General Manager on May 22, 2014, and had been following up ever since," he added.

WR's CPRO Ravinder Bhakar confirmed the development and said that work will soon begin now that all hurdles have been cleared.'

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