Railway Minister P.K. Bansal’s ‘magnanimity’ in sanctioning an ‘Executive Lounge’ for VIPs at Visakhapatnam railway station is drawing flak from people of the region. Lakhs of people use the railway junction everyday but the facilities at the station are far from adequate. The toilets at the general waiting room on Platform No. 1 are stinking and there are hardly any benches on the south side of PF-1 for people to sit on. Stray dogs loiter on the foot-overbridges, platforms and all over the station premises. Many a time the dogs give company to passengers who are forced to squat on the platforms for want of accommodation in the waiting rooms. They share the food with passengers and leave the children scared. Waltair Division, the highest revenue-earner for East Coast Railway is being given a raw deal by the railways, be it in the introduction of new trains, increasing the quota of berths or provision of passenger amenities. Escalators were sanctioned nearly two years ago for Visakhapatnam but they are yet to be installed.
Text and pictures: K. R. Deepak