Passengers can soon spare themselves of the arduous task of cramming their way up the foot overbridges with the Railways sanctioning escalators at the Ernakulam Junction Station.
According to officials, the work in this regard will kick off soon with the project already awarded to agencies concerned. As per the plan, the escalators will come up at the first, second and third platforms of the station and a sum of over Rs 235 lakh has been earmarked for the project. One escalator will cost 40 lakh ( four escalators will be brought) and the civil work will cost around Rs 75 lakh.
The move is expected to provide a conducive atmosphere for better movement of passenger traffic, especially that of long-distance travellers, railway officials said.
According to them, work on escalators at the New Delhi and Howrah Railway stations have already begun and the project is part of the Indian Railways’ ambitious five-year plan. In Ernakulam, the project is expected to be completed by 2014.
“Many long-distance and important trains halt at the first, second and third platforms of the station here. This is why we are trying to set up escalators at these platforms. Meanwhile, we have received sanction for escalators for the fourth and fifth platforms too. However, work is yet to be awarded,” Ernakulam railway Area Manager P L Ashok Kumar said.According to Ashok Kumar, the foundation work has been entrusted to the civil engineering wing, whereas the responsibility of constructing the escalators will be taken up by the engineering wing.
“The first plan is to dismantle the steps at the first and second platforms. The railway tea stall between the third and fourth platform will have be relocated. Initially, there were plans to install escalators as part of the plan to convert the station to a World-Class Railway Station. However, since the project of a world-class station is currently at a lull, we have decided to move on with the escalators as an individual project,” he said.
Plans are also afoot for setting up escalators at the Thiruvanthapuram Railway Station.
The renovated information centre at the station will soon be inaugurated. Also, as part of the metro-related project, plans are afoot for shifting the parcel office to the western side of the station.
Meanwhile, the headquarters for the employees will be shifted to a land in Kadavanthara, a DMRC spokesperson said.