Two days after it was inaugurated on Friday, the newly constructed sleeper class waiting room was found closed due to lack of official staff to ensure its upkeep. Also, with the work on the newly inaugurated escalators still incomplete, these were closed down for a few hours during the day.
As some electrical work was to be completed, the escalators were stopped on Sunday afternoon. While both the escalators were stopped for some time, later one was made functional. The escalators were stopped in shifts to complete the pending work.
In the past, there have been recurrent complaints about the upkeep of the existing waiting rooms and need for more seating space was felt. Following this, a new waiting room was inaugurated at the Chandigarh railway station on Friday.
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Asked why two days after these were inaugurated, the escalators stopped functioning, R K Dutta, Station Superintendent, Chandigarh Railway Station, said: “When I saw the escalators last night, these were operational. But there were some talks about installing censors on the escalators. Censors are to be installed on the escalators which will ensure that these are operational only when some one steps on them. These will stop moving when no one is using them. Maybe for the installation of the censors, these were stopped.”
According to the electricians working there, the escalators were stopped as lights had to be installed around them.
“I got to know that the escalators were inaugurated on Friday. I read it in the newspaper. But these are not functioning today,” said Gaurav Kumar , a passenger. “What was the need for inaugurating the escalators when they have to stop them after two days?”
Asked why the waiting room was locked, Dutta said, “We have to depute some staff to ensure that the miscreants do not damage the newly constructed waiting room. In the absence of any official staff, miscreants might steal taps and other fittings in the toilets. Then there are labourers who are working at the railway station who might use the waiting room in the absence of any staff.”
“No doubt, in the absence of the required staff, the miscreants might damage the waiting room,” said a stall owner at platform number one. “But then what was the need for inaugurating these without the required staff and closing these thereafter.”