Absence of FoBs forces people to cross tracks to reach different platforms

Duvvada railway station, the gateway to Visakhapatnam, which caters to the travel needs of around nine lakh people living in the industrial belt and surrounding areas, has been crying for attention. The authorities concerned have been making tall promises of developing it as a ‘satellite station’, ‘Adarsh station’, and the like over the last few years. Though an amount of Rs.58 lakh was sanctioned for extension of the Foot Over Bridge (FoB) from PF 2 and 3 to PF-4 in 2010, work has not been taken up on the plea of “insufficient funds.”

The tender was awarded to a contractor recently and the work was expected to begin after “getting clearance from the railway authorities.”

The million dollar question is: when? The work on construction of PF-4, designed to be 620-m long and 10.5-m wide, which commenced a couple of years ago, was stopped midway by the contractor in 2011 owing to paucity of funds.

Work resumed last month. Around 200 m of the balance 500 m flooring work was completed and some other civil works were going on. But, once again the work has slowed down and it is progressing at a snail’s pace.

The presence of two dedicated lines for movement of wagons to the NTPC just before the main entrance to the station has necessitated construction of a high wall. The NTPC had constructed a wide ramp-type FoB from the road to PF 1 about a decade ago.

The direct approach from the FoB to PF 1 was closed recently with the construction of a wall. This is causing difficulty to passengers, especially senior citizens and physically challenged persons, as they have to take a roundabout route to reach PF 1 through the main entrance.

The railway authorities have provided a small opening in the wall to provide direct access to PF 1 from the ramp on a representation from the Duvvada Railway Users’ Association.

“The small opening in the wall makes it difficult for movement of wheel chairs and passengers rushing through with heavy luggage. The FoB ramp should be extended to the island platform (PF 2 & 3) and PF-4,” says association secretary K. Eswar.

There is no FoB from PF-4 to both PF 2 & 3 and PF-1, and passengers are forced to cross the tracks to reach them.

The Railways, which has been crying hoarse about ‘passenger safety’ at level crossings, seems to be oblivious of the fact that many passengers have lost their lives while crossing the tracks from under stationary goods trains right at the proposed ‘Adarsh station’.

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