Facility will be commissioned tomorrow
The first of the 42 escalators being set up by Railways in 15 ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ class railway stations across the State will be commissioned at Ernakulam Junction on Monday.
With this, the differently abled and the elderly will not have to use staircase to go to various platforms. Railway sources told The Hindu that lifts would also be installed.
The escalator is on platform 1 of Ernakulam Junction.
“Test run and safety trials of the escalator that cost Rs.78.50 lakh have been carried out and it will be commissioned on Monday,” a railway official said.
In all, the Ernakulam Junction and the North railway stations will get six escalators and three lifts at a cost of Rs.5.45 crore. Ernakulam North will get two escalators and a lift. Civil works are in progress for escalators on platforms 2 and 3 of Ernakulam Junction.
The Thiruvananthapuram Central will get four escalators and three lifts at a cost of Rs.4.5 crore. Works on the escalator have begun on platform 2 here.
Aluva station will get one escalator and a lift (Rs.1.05 crore); Nagercoil two escalators and two lifts (Rs.1.85 crore); and Kollam two escalators and two lifts at a cost of Rs.1.85 crore.
Chengannur will get two escalators and one lift (Rs.2.32 crore) and Thrissur two escalators and lifts at a cost of Rs.1.92 crore.
One escalator and three lifts being set up at Kozhikode railway station are getting ready for commissioning. A top official of Railways said one escalator and two lifts each would be set up in Palakkad, Kannur, and Mangalore railway stations in the second phase.
Sources said purchase orders were placed for the lifts and escalators directly by the Railway Board.
Escalators are installed in pairs, one upwards and the other downwards. There are 4,786 railway stations in the country with two or more platforms. Of them, 56 are equipped with 153 escalators.
Out of a total budget allocation of Rs.914 crore under ‘Passenger Amenities’ in 2013-14, Rs.46 crore was earmarked for setting up of escalators.