Barricades hurdle for travellers at city rail station

Shopkeepers near the station said railway authorities had done the barricading Saturday night without informing them

Bhubaneswar: The railway passengers and visitors who came to pick up or drop passengers from Cuttack side entrance of Bhubaneswar Railway Station Sunday struggled to enter or exit the station due to barricades erected on this side of the station.
Though the objective behind putting up the barricades is to prevent the mushrooming of street vendors near the entrance of platform No VI, this has been done in a thoughtless manner, without giving any indication to passengers coming from Puri-Cuttack Road. As a result, many people who came by vehicles struggled to get out as parked vehicles blocked the whole stretch of road Sunday.
The shopkeepers on this side of the station said that the railway authorities had done the barricading Saturday night without informing any of them. So, many passengers who use this connecting road opposite platform No VI entrance were left with no option but to park their vehicles beside the shops and in the middle of the road. Some of the drivers/owners of the vehicles had even tiffs with shopkeepers who had objected to their parking in front of their shops.
“They (railways) have to put up some sign board at the entry point informing the road users that the entrance is barricaded and vehicles have to use the other connecting roads. But, the officials took things in a lethargic manner and we faced the heat of the public,” said Ajit Kumar Choudhary of Basanti General Shop near the railway station.
Similarly, some of the visitors who came by vehicles also criticized the way the move was implemented without giving any thought to public inconvenience.
“I realized that the entry was barricaded only when I reached the entrance point. But, the whole road got blocked and I was not able to reverse the vehicle. The railways must have put up a sign at the entry point of the connecting road at Puri-Cuttack road informing that the road is blocked at the end. This apart, the sign board must also indicate the nearest connecting road for those coming by vehicles,” said DK Behera, who came to drop his parents.
The barricading done without sufficient space also creates problems for physically challenged passengers. “At least one or two barricading grills have to be removed for helping the physically challenged people for entering the station. Currently, it is very difficult for those who use wheelchair to enter the station. Therefore, the railways have to remove some barricades for ensuring the entry of physically challenged people,” said B Singh, who came with his physically challenged brother.
Similarly, the barricades are also creating inconvenience for those exiting the station with heavy luggage. “The road opposite to platform No VI is used by those who want to use the bus service. The barricading done at this side makes it difficult for those who are exiting with heavy luggage. So, the railway has to remove at least one barricade for helping the passengers coming with luggage. In the current situation, we have to lift the luggage across the barricade which is very difficult for ladies. So, we are forced to use the service of railway porter,” said Rashmita Dash, another passenger.
Meanwhile, top railway officials assured immediate action on this issue. “I will enquire about it and will take immediate steps to sort out this issue,” said a top railway official.

Jose K Joseph, OP

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