Escalators make facility friendlier to differently abled persons

Minister for Social Welfare M.K. Muneer and M.K. Raghavan, MP, respectively inaugurated the new escalators and elevators at the Kozhikode railway station as part of making it a world-class facility on Tuesday.

With this, the railway station became the first in South India with either an elevator or escalator access to all platforms.

The new facilities comprise two sets of escalators at the first platform with a capacity of 18,000 persons per hour and three elevators each (at platforms 1,3, and 4) which can carry 11 people at a time. Railway sources said the facility was set up at a cost of Rs.2.5 crore.

With these facilities, the station had become friendlier to senior citizens and differently abled persons, Dr. Muneer said.

“As the Minister for Social Welfare, I am the happiest man about this facility,” he said. The Minister said he would take special efforts to release the Rs.2 crore sanctioned by the State government three months ago for the development of the Kozhikode railway station.

Dr. Muneer, who stated that steps were afoot to solve the water crisis at the Kozhikode station, said Rs.78 crore had already been allocated for the Panniyankara railway overbridge.

“The land acquisition will begin once the district-level land purchase committee fixed the price,” he said. Mr. Raghavan, who presided over the function, said a Rs.300-crore master plan prepared by the Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (KITCO) for the development of the Kozhikode station had already been submitted to Railways.

“A session is planned in the city soon to get feedback from the media and the public about the project, which is expected to be implemented on a public-private partnership mode,” Mr. Raghavan said.

Maintaining that the plan to set up a pit lane and a satellite station for Kozhikode at West Hill was under the active consideration of the authorities, Mr. Raghavan said Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) services from the city to Ernakulam and Palakkad would begin after the ongoing electrification of the Shoranur-Kozhikode line got over.

A new building for the reservation office and a waiting room at the fourth platform were among the works envisaged, he said. “Work on a fancy restaurant to be set up in a bogey at the fourth platform was also progressing,” Mr. Raghavan said.

Piyush Agarwal, Railway Divisional Manager (Palakkad) was present.

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