TIRUCHY: The Tiruchy railway division has started taking steps to make the city station more friendly to the physically challenged and senior citizens. Until now, the station had an escalator only at the subway which provides access to platforms two and three. This was insufficient for the physically challenged and senior citizens to reach the other platforms.
However, the railway has now installed six escalators at the station, which will start functioning in a couple of months once all the construction work ends. The railway has also planned to install six new lifts. Passengers have appreciated the steps and said that the railway should provide similar facilities at more stations.
"At present, it is difficult for the physically challenged to enter the subway as there are no lifts. So, they are depending on battery-operated vehicles to move from one platform to another. But, it costs Rs 30 for a ride. The new lifts and escalators, once connected to the foot overbridge, will make movement easier for the physically challenged. We hope the railway quickens the work," said M Kamaraj, a differently-abled activist.
Ram Kumar, a senior citizen and passenger of Rameswaram Express, said, "At present, there are eight platforms in the station. Some of the major trains are stopping on platform 3. Since I cannot use the stairs, I am unable to reach platform 3 through the subway. I am, therefore, forced to use the battery vehicles
to move from platform 1 to 3. Not all people may be able to afford this. Therefore, escalators and lifts are the need of the hour."
According to the railways, division escalators and lifts are coming at platform 1, between platform 2 and 3, between platform 4 and 5, and between platform 6 and 7. Sources said the railway is spending about Rs 6.5 crore for the six escalators and Rs 3 crore for the six lifts.
"We have already put up six escalators and the remaining works are going on a fast-track manner. We are expecting the lifts and remaining works of escalator to end by November," an official said.