The Southern Railways will commission escalators for Ernakulam South railway station by June-end. The escalators, which were shipped from China a few months ago, were unloaded at the South railway station on Thursday. Once these are commissioned, the Ernakulam South railway station will be the first station in the state to boast of this high-tech facility.
“We had not expected the escalators to reach Kochi this early. Now, that we have received it before time, we expect to get them commissioned by the end of June,” said Railways Area Manager P L Ashok Kumar.
These escalators will come up at the first platform of the station. The ground works for the installation of the escalators have been completed.
The railways will undertake the electric as well as welding works to set the escalators in the next few weeks. According to officials, the escalators will be attached to the foot overbridge. This will provide an easy access for the physically-challenged and senior citizens who find it difficult to climb the stairs. The railways is yet to start the commissioning of the civil work at the second and third platform.
“We expect to receive the escalators for the other platforms in the next few months. The agencies have already been awarded with the work. As per the plan, the escalators will come up at the first, second and third platforms of the station and a sum of over `235 lakh has been earmarked for the project.
The cost of one escalator is `40 lakh ( four escalators will be bought). The estimated cost of the civil work will be `75 lakh,” Railways sources said. According to them, work on installation of escalators at New Delhi and Howrah railway stations had 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. Escalators will also be installed at Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station soon.