GCDA, Railways join hands to set up amenities at station’s eastern entrance
The Greater Cochin Development Authority and the Railways have joined hands to revamp amenities at the eastern entrance to Ernakulam Junction railway station.
The eastern entrance is all set to sport a tidy look with GCDA drawing up plans to augment parking facilities. The authority has begun work to address the acute paucity of parking space. Work is on to clear weeds and fill up the unused land on the southern (Karshaka Road) side of the entry.
Plans are also afoot to build a parking bay for long-distance private buses. KSRTC and city service buses may also be parked here.
The aim is to establish inter-modal connectivity on the eastern side.
Ernakulam Area Manager of Southern Railway P.L. Ashok Kumar said GCDA had agreed to hand over 2.50 cents near the station’s sixth platform to install an escalator. The platform can be extended by a few dozen metres on the land, allowing trains with up to 16 coaches to halt here.
GCDA Chairman N. Venugopal, Divisional Railway Manager Rajesh Agrawal and Mr. Kumar decided to go ahead with the plans at a recent meeting.
The Railways is also doing its bit to refurbish the station. It opened a reservation counter on the eastern entry a few days ago. “Our next priority is to provide a roof for platform six,” Mr. Kumar said.
Mr. Venugopal had announced a few months ago that a new bridge would be built over the Gandhinagar canal.
Passengers from the city’s eastern side now use a narrow bridge or take the winding route through Udaya Colony or Karshaka Road to reach the eastern entry.
The Railways is learnt to have suggested to GCDA to covert the old Railway parcel office on the station’s main entry into a lounge cum cafeteria for passengers.
With the Railways not keen on taking over a five-storeyed building, built many years ago by GCDA on the eastern entry, the authority may rent it out to garner revenue.
Though plans have been chalked out to use space optimally on the eastern entry, the Railways is yet to formalise a plan to free-up the station’s congested main entry.
Chaos at entrance
Chaos reigns at the entrance as entering and exiting vehicles jostle for space.
Haphazard parking at the entrance’s bell mouth and encroachment of footpaths and the road by vendors have made matters worse for passengers.