The Millennium City, IT Hub, BPO Capital, City of Malls are some of the names that Gurgaon is usually associated with. While it is home to some of the largest companies in the world, some parts of the city are still begging for attention.
One such is the Gurgaon railway station — one of the oldest stations on the Delhi-Rewari-Jaipur route. Despite the city’s tremendous progress, the Northern Railway has ignored the station.
“The Rail Budget for 2007-’08 promised to make Gurgaon railway station ‘modern’. But not enough funds were allocated for the project,” L Verma, president, association of daily passengers (Delhi-Rewari), said.
A few years back, around Rs 50 lakh was sanctioned to upgrade the station. But, besides the entrance, which got a new look, and some renovation inside, no work was carried out to ensure that basic amenities were provided at the station.
“Nothing has been done about the reservation centre even though the number of people using the station has increased manifold. Authorities had promised to increase the reservation windows to 10 from five, but nothing was done on that front either,” a railway official said.
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Security at the station too remains a major concern. “There is no security check at the entrance to the station and the station is yet to have CCTV cameras installed. There is no one to check baggages either. There is total lack of seriousness on the part of the authority to upgrade the railway station,” Piyush Tripathi, a frequent traveller on the Delhi-Ahmedabad train, said.
More passengers, less trains
Sources said for over a decade, about 27 passenger and express trains use to pass through Gurgaon, carrying approximately 20,000 passengers everyday. But now, the passenger count has gone up to approximately 70,000, whereas the number of trains that pass through the station are only 23.
Of these 23 trains, two are weekly trains and two others do not halt in Gurgaon. In 2008, while converting meter gauge trains to broad gauge trains, eight trains were stopped, of which five were started again. Also, there has been a growing demand for trains for migrants originating or halting at Gurgaon.
“We have made several demands to introduce trains at least on a trial basis from Gurgaon to Hajipur in Bihar. But nothing has been done about it,” Sanjay Singh, President, Purvanchal Ekta Manch, said.
Passengers using the Gurgaon railway station have been constantly complaining about the lack of basic amenities. “When the railway stations in Delhi have all the necessary arrangements, why doesn’t Gurgaon have them?” Manish Yadav, a passenger, said.
The station, which is covered only for a two-kilometre stretch, is in need of basic amenities such as clean toilets, a secure waiting room and canteen facilities. “We cannot do much. The station does not have enough staff to clean toilets and keep beggars out of the waiting room”, a railway official at the station said.
The only foot overbridge on the station is not adequate to meet the passenger load. The officials said that while reconstruction of the bridge had been initiated, the process would take time.
As far as parking facilities are concerned, officials said contractors did not show much interest in taking up the contract to upgrade the facility. As a result, the parking lot of the station also lacks proper arrangements. Further, illegal parking spaces have mushroomed around the station.
Claiming that landscaping and beautification at the station were a distant dream, Gurgaon residents said they only expected to see basic amenities from this year’s Rail Budget.
“A self-sustained railway station which has all the basic amenities and is well-connected is what is needed,” Abhishek Singh, a resident of DLF Phase-3, said.