Infrastructure goes off track at KR Puram Railway station

Bangalore, 17th Oct, 2017: A narrow footbridge, common entry-exit point and illegal hawkers lead to overcrowding of passengers at KR Railway Station.

KR Puram Railway Station sees 89,000 passengers every day as it is a junction for trains from Kerala and Bangalore-Chennai line.
The KR Puram Railway Station manager said, “During peak hours, the crowd takes 20 minutes to leave the platform, which should normally take 10 minutes.”
The two-foot-wide footbridge linked to the platforms directly leads to the KR Puram main road. The already congested entry-exit point near the KR Puram bus stop holds hawkers and autos, making movement difficult for passengers leaving the station.

“Unauthorized shops and hawkers have blocked the already jammed entrance. We are trying to remove them as the footbridges lead to the main road, which already holds traffic from Old Madras Road,” said Syed Imtiyaz Ahmed, Senior Public Relations Officer, South Western Railway.
In April 2016, escalators and lifts were built in Yeshwanthpur and City Railway Station but no such change was made in KR Puram Railway Station, nor has an additional exit been provided.
Ramesha Murthy, 61, a regular commuter at KR Puram Railway Station, said “I travel thrice every week to City Railway Station and climbing the old staircases with heavy luggage has caused me a back problem. The commuters are increasing but the station is still the same old.”

There is an absence of infrastructure for disabled and senior-citizen travellers. Naveen R, a disabled man, said “I do not have a leg but I still have to drag myself all the way and down the footbridge. I have personally requested the Station Manager to look into the matter several times but nothing has been done so far.”

On October 12, a passenger, collapsed on the footbridge due to a heart attack as he was travelling to Bangalore. Due to lack of first aid or medical facilities he was left unattended. A commuter informed Police constable, Basavaraju D.
Basavaraju D said, “I was on my rounds when I was informed by a passenger about a man collapsing on the footbridge. I rushed up the staircase but the man was lying dead on the footbridge. I called the ambulance which took 15 minutes to reach.”

K. Asif Hafeez, Sr. Divisional Personnel Officer said, “KR Puram station was not planned for a larger crowd like City Railway Station, the infrastructure was not built to accommodate 90,000 passengers. We cannot change the layout of the railway station but there is a scope of upgrading technology and infrastructure in the six months.”
Syed Imtiyaz also said that on 13th October, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal visited Bangalore to hold a meeting with the South Western Railway Authority and discuss necessary measures to be taken to de-congest the railway stations across the country. This meeting was organised to discuss ways to avoid an Elphinestone Railway Station mishap that happened last month.

On September 29, heavy rains saw overcrowding on the foot bridge of Elphinestone railway station in Mumbai, which lead to a stampede, killing 23 people.

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