April 14, 2024
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Story by Rajendra B. Akleka
The recent rains have exposed Mumbai’s poor infrastructure, with leaky roofs causing inconvenience to commuters. Ghatkopar railway station has been described as a “death trap” by many Mumbaikars.

Since the Ghatkopar station is being upgraded, there are piles of debris on its platforms, which are uneven and have become the new home to potholes in the city. In the event of heavy rain soon, the station does not have a proper roof to keep travelers dry. Some parts of the station lack shade, while others are partially covered with chipped roofing sheets, which leak, commuters complained.

Ashok Aheaya, a commuter, said, “Work can continue with minimal disruption, but the current situation will be dangerous in the monsoon season.”

Platform No. 5 at Dombivli railway station; Broken roofing sheets partially cover a platform at Ghatkopar railway station. Pic/Vruddhi Patel

There are iron plates and potholes at the platforms at the Ghatkopar station that pose a serious threat to commuters. The exit is also a mess, with stones all over the place. “There has been no improvement in this situation for the past six months,” Rahul Pawar said.

According to commuter Jainam Shah, the railways have turned the station into hell. “The Ghatkopar station is a death trap! When it rains, the roofs and random openings leak. With heavy rainfall, our lives will be even more miserable.”

Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation is upgrading the station with an elevated deck, while Central Railway (CR) is digging foundations for a new roof.

There is debris everywhere

Ghatkopar isn’t the only station in which debris from the upgrade work has been left unattended. At some stations, barricades at platforms have left little to no space for commuters to pass safely.

The same scene can be seen in Thane, Mulund, and Byculla. “Quick disposal of debris from the area of work should be a criterion,” said Nandita Jani, another commuter.

There is no shelter at Dombivli station

Since the railways changed coach numbers, trains now halt at the extreme end of the platform, which does not have a roof. “Monsoon is here, but there is no roof at Dombivli station,” commuter Vruddhi Patel said.

Platform height is also an issue at the station. “Most of the platforms are still not commuter-friendly. The authorities should have checked the platforms before making the changes,” said Ravikant Sinha, another commuter.

A railway official promised to fix all the defects. “We are on the job and all the work will be completed in a timely manner,” he said.

The roofs at Ghatkopar and Dombivli stations are in compliance with the norms, and the ongoing work is temporary to enhance the stations, said CR Chief Public Relations Officer Dr Shivraj Manaspure.

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