The escalators installed at the second and third platforms of the Ernakulam Junction station will be commissioned within two weeks.
According to Railway officials, the work on the escalators have been completed and this will be inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas.
“The date of inauguration will be decided depending on the availability of the Minister,” said Ernakulam Railway Area Manager P L Ashok Kumar. The total construction cost of the two escalators is nearly one crore. The Railways had commissioned the station’s first escalator in September at a cost of `50 lakh.
The Ernakulam Junction Station and the Thiruvananthapuram Central Station were the two stations that were included in the first phase of the project. Ernakulam Town, Aluva, Thrissur, Kottayam, Kayamkulam, Alappuzha, Chenganoor and Nagercoil stations have been identified in the second phase.
In the second phase, escalators will be installed at the fourth, fifth and sixth platforms of the Ernakulam Junction Station. The civil works of the escalator sanctioned at the Ernakulam Town Station is in progress.
Passenger lifts are also being planned at various stations across the state.
Meanwhile, the escalator on the first platform which was inaugurated with much fanfare does not have the anticipated number of takers. Though, it has a capacity to hold a daily passenger traffic of about 70,000-75,000, the number of users are comparatively minimal.
Sources said if the escalator had been installed on the entrance side of the station platform, it would have been more viable.
The escalator had undergone certain technical glitches in the past one month. Users had complained that it had stopped working several times, but the authorities blame the passengers who are unaware of the workings of the escalator.