BENGALURU: The two sharp spells of rain in Bengaluru over two days have completely exposed the oft-repeated claims of Sir M Visvesvaraya railway terminal in Baiyappanahalli as a world-class one.
The Rs 314-crore terminal, India’s first air-conditioned one, had its subway which connects all platforms completely flooded and water seeping from the roof of the building inside all rooms, including the one where the signalling panel is placed.
The world-class terminal, readied by the Constructions Division of the South Western Railway Zone, was ready two months ago and awaits inauguration by the Prime Minister. A senior railway source told The New Indian Express, “The subway that connects all the Platforms from 1 to 7 was flooded with knee-deep water. There was seepage from the top and water reached the floor of the main terminal, which is fully glassed, as well as the station master’s building within the huge campus.”
An official said that the worrying part was that leakage had also happened in the room housing the control panel that takes care of the entire signalling operations. “The rains on Wednesday and Friday were not heavy. Despite that, there has been so much damage. If there is any malfunction in this Rs 40-crore signalling board, then it will have a major impact on train operations,” he said.
Reacting to the development, the South Western Railway said the valley gutter leading to the rainwater drain had overflown resulting in water ingressing into the main building for some time. “The gutter will be examined thoroughly again and remedial measures will be put in place to prevent its recurrence,” it said. The rainwater harvesting system was undergoing final phase of checks prior to its commissioning and, when it is ready, rain water will flow into the designated channels, it added.
“At present, the entire water from the roof of the main canopy is being diverted to the main drainage system leading to the water recycling plant. This has resulted in the drain carrying more than its capacity owing to the sudden downpour, resulting in back flow into the subway. The accumulated subway water has naturally drained within half an hour of the cessation of the downpour,” it added.