BENGALURU: Problems between a contractor and the Railways have ensured that a vital passenger amenity at Platform 1A of the Bangalore Cantonment railway station - the roofing for the entire platform -- remains incomplete. Though the frame of the platform shelter has been built, the incomplete roof exposes passengers to the elements.This reporter visited the station twice and found passengers avoiding benches under the platform because of the sun. Many opted to use the adjacent Platform One instead. The floor at Platform 1A is not level, making it difficult for commuters to walk and pull their luggage.
None of the top railway officials could give a clear answer as to why this minor work is yet to be completed. Express had highlighted the same issue nearly a year ago (March 2019) and a senior railway official had said that it would be ready in a month. It is in the same shape, though a year has lapsed.
Five long-distance trains - Hatia Express, Bhuvaneshwar Express, Vijayawada Passenger, Humsafar Express (to Agartala), Guwahati Express - and DEMU passengers to Bangarpet/Kolar - start and terminate at Platform 1A.
The Bengaluru Railway Division had entrusted the work to agency M V V Satyanarayana at a cost of Rs 1.61 crore and was to be completed early 2018. Hanumantha Raju was among passengers seated at the adjacent platform. Asked about this incomplete project, he said, “Railways should complete it soon. Passengers cannot use the platform and when the trains arrive, they have to rush to board the trains.”
S.S. Karthick, a regular commuter to Bangarpet , said, “The work on laying the foundation and erecting the shelter is over. Putting a sheet above can be done within days. I really don’t know why the Railways is delaying it.” Senior railway officials sought time to get back on the issue. An official claimed they would complete the task in a week’s time.