The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authourity (MMRDA) has proposed to construct the upcoming metro stations keeping in mind the growth in population over the next two decades. It has proposed the construction of more entry and exit points in all stations to allow more people to access them.
“In the light of the recent incidents, I think we need to do planning for the long-term. We are planning Metro for the next 20 years so we should also plan stations in such a way that those are able to cope with the crowd. I thought we need to double the planned entry and exit points in the stations and instead of two, we need four entry and exit points. It is not required now but we need to think for the next 20-25 years,” said R A Rajeev, the Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.
Each entry/exit point includes a staircase and an escalator. It means all upcoming metro stations will have four staircases and four escalators as opposed to the earlier planned two staircases and two escalators. “Two escalators will be for going up and another two for coming down,” Rajeev said. “We need to make it easy and convenient for people to enter and exit the stations. Wherever possible, we will also increase the width of the stations,” he said.
Questions over the city’s old infrastructure failing to meet the modern day requirements have been raised after 23 people were killed in a stampede at Elphinstone station in September last year. Recently, the Delisle bridge near Lower Parel station was shut down after it was declared unsafe.
Speaking about the proposal, A V Shenoy, a transport expert said: “They need to study the expected load and also plan on how the commuters will exit from the premises. The footpath on which the station ends also has to have sufficient width and the last mile connectivity option needs to be studied.”
With two entry/exit points being added to every station for all the upcoming corridors – Metro 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11 and 12- it will mean a significant expense for the MMRDA.
“While the cost of constructing staircases is not much, the cost for escalators will certainly increase. We have not calculated it yet but whatever the increase, it is worth doing,” Rajeev said.
The MMRDA has also proposed a unique design for the metro stations. “The stations also need to be iconic. They should attract people. The interiors will be based on themes but the external appearance also needs to be aesthetic,” Rajeev added.