BY VIVEK GUPTA
A new escalator at the Chandigarh railway station was opened for public on Saturday. The escalator will provide direct entrance and exit at platform numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5. A staircase has also been provided along with the escalator.
Ten new reservation counters will also come up soon at the railway station.
This much-required move will decongest the station and provide easy access to all the platforms.
Earlier, the entry and exit of platforms two to 5 was routed through a small staircase at platform number 1.
“The congestion at the station was maximum between 10 am and 12 noon and 5 pm to 7 pm. With multiple entry-exist points now, the congestion will now be less during peak hours,” said R K Dutta, station superintendent.
From the perspective of safety, too, the new escalator and staircase will be beneficial.
Last month, there was a stampede-like situation at the station after thousands of supporters of self-styled godman Sant Rampal, who was held up at the railway station, began retreating to different platforms to board trains.
Due to a single entry-exit, the situation was beyond control for over two hours.
With this alternative, the safety of passengers has risen, said Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Division, A K Kathpal under whose supervision the station is being revamped.
He told Newsline that over Rs 5 crore has been spent on the new esclator and the upcoming reservation counters and other modern facilities. “The new escalator is also a big relief for senior citizens,” he said.
“This is the second escalator that has been opened at the railway station. Earlier, the escalator was opened at plaform no 2. Other plaforms will also be provided such facilities in the future, he added.
Anil Singla, a passenger, said the new escalator at the station is a welcome move as it will improve the image of the local station.