IN the last few years, the Yeswanthpur railway station has seen a big rise in traffic – both in the number of passengers and the trains.
The six-platform station is currently the starting point for 36 trains (up and down) – the latest additions are the Duronto Express (non-stop) to Kolkata and a train to Lucknow. Unfortunately, the station’s infrastructure development has hardly kept pace with this growth.
There are two ways a passenger can approach the Yeswanthpur railway station and both are riddled with their share of problems. The entrance from the Yeswanthpur vegetable market is a vehicle owner’s nightmare. During peak hours, the vehicles have to negotiate not only the crowd but also animals and vendors. Even after reaching the station there is no relief, as the parking space is severely limited. During peak hours and on Sundays, it is virtually impossible to drop or pick up passengers.
More problems persist. “There are only two counters issuing platform tickets and these are always overcrowded. It would really help if there was a touch screen vending machine giving out platform tickets,” says Saju VK, who alights the train from this station at least once a month.
The condition of the approach road to the station is also no better. While the main vegetable market road is a one way, people following the rule seem to be the exception. People find it hard to find autorickshaws and those who do, are overcharged. What’s more, the bus stop right outside the station is in a deplorable state with muck all around.
The Peenya road entrance to the station seems to score over parking. However, with the Metro work in progress, reaching the station is a tedious and time consuming process. “It takes a good one hour to reach the Yeswanthpur circle or Goraguntepalya. So if it is an emergency situation, nothing can be done,” says autorickshaw driver Ravi Kumar. There is also no facility for drinking water, adds Kumar.
As for the cleanliness of the pay and use toilets in the station, less said the better. A visit to a toilet on Platform 6 after paying Rs 3, reveals that cleanliness is a forgotten concept.
The plight of other toilets – in Platform 2, 3 and waiting room – are the same. When an attendant was why the toilets were dirty in spite of a fee being charged, he appeared visibly irritated. “The cleaning guy would come only at 1 pm” was his callous reply.
Another issue is the poor maintenance of the footbridge connecting Platform 1 to the last platform. There are no proper signboards to direct people. No information / enquiry counter could be seen on Platform 1. People blindly cross the tracks, risking accidents and there is no one to stop them!
(Published in Deccan Herald on 20th November, 2010)