Ludhiana: City’s railway station is one of the biggest junctions in the Northern Railways, as it brings maximum revenue in the region, but has meager facilities as compared to other railway stations of region.
Around one lakh passengers including migrants commute from Ludhiana railway station to the various destinations of the country. As a result, the local railway station generates revenue of around over Rs.130 crore annually for the Railways.
In the recent past, a memorandum was submitted to Union Railway Ministry, a copy of which has also been sent to Divisional Railway authorities of the Northern Railway at Ferozepur by Chamber of Commercial and Industrial Undertakings (CICU). The memorandum had said despite being one of the highest revenue-generating railway stations in the Ferozepur division (over Rs.130 crore), and passenger traffic of more than 60,000 everyday and around one lakh in the festival seasons and the vacations, the railway station lacks amenities and has several shortcomings.
In the memorandum, they mentioned that the level of cleanliness at the platforms and other places inside and outside railway station leaves a lot of room for the improvement. Long queues at the reservation and general-ticket counters are routine. Harassment of passengers by ticket-checking staff and railway police are common. The number of licensed porters is inadequate. Overcharging by the vendors, and that too, for poor quality eatables, and lack of cold drinking water make rail travel.
CICU had further pointed out that present platform No.1, where most of the ‘elite class’ trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani are berthed, is grossly congested and remains overcrowded with passengers and parcels, leaving no room for the public to move around and conveniently board trains. Majority of passengers travelling by ‘Elite’ trains enter from Civil Lines side, the Railways ought to develop another main platform on this side to provide safety and comfort to passengers, they say.
Further, CICU representatives had asked the Railways to give railway station a facelift by ensuring cleanliness, repairing stairs of foot over bridge connecting platforms or providing the new foot over bridge, for making provisions for lifts and escalators for easier approach to platforms.
It may be mentioned here that the members of business and industrial community in particular who have to travel frequently, are sore over the lack of infrastructure, congestion on the platforms and movement area, insanitary conditions and poor catering service. Thus, much is to be desired.
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