Of the city’s three major railway stations, the Yeshwantpur terminal appears to be getting its formula right in terms of maintenance.
The others, the Bangalore City Railway Station and the Cantonment Railway Station, are in various stages of disarray, despite having serviced passengers for well over a century.
At the city station, garbage is allowed to pile up near the carriages, with passengers in some trains flinging food packets directly on to the platforms. And then there are those who think nothing of spitting into the free purified water fountain. No wonder passenger baggage includes packaged water.
There are waiting lounges at the city station but many travellers sleep on platforms. Garbage too is strewn all over the place despite bins being installed. Passengers are dissatisfied with the food here. “Although there are many private catering services here, they are substandard compared to government canteens,” said Ashley Noronha, a retired engineer and regular traveller, who has seen the quality of service decline over the years here.
Lack of security
At Cantonment, passengers are bugged by lack of night-time security. “There are no chairs for people to sit. There is no security worth the name inside the station. I have to think twice before letting my wife travel alone,” says Vinobaji, a traveller on his way to Pune. A common grouse is that the coach position is not announced clearly. Passengers also complain of limited water from the faucets here.
These two stations are in stark contrast to Yeshwantpur, which was given a facelift last year.
The platforms here are washed after every departure, security forces guard on all platforms and the general impression is of a spotless environment. A revelation for those who are under the impression the Railways can’t pull it off.
“This is much better than the stations I encountered while travelling from the north, such as Agra. Yeshwantpur is clean and the staff is polite,” said Holger Bischoff, a traveller from Germany.
Both the city station and Yeshwantpur are equipped with battery-powered buggies for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, as well as track-cleaning vehicles. Both these are used all the time while they lie idle at the city station.