Work on foot overbridge at Pune railway station to start soon
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With an allocation of Rs 2 crore in the latest Rail Budget, work on a new foot overbridge (FOB) at the Pune station is likely to gain momentum. The project, declared years ago with a Rs 5.99-crore budget, was getting delayed for paucity of funds.
The Pune station is also likely to get two more escalators.
According to Y K Singh, PRO, Pune Division, said though funds had been earmarked to widen the existing FOB by 12 metres, widening was not possible given the position and strength of the pillars.
"Hence, it's best to construct a new one," he said.
"The new FOB will be constructed parallel to the existing one near the ticket booking counters. This will also ease traffic on the old FOB. The work is expected to begin at the start of the coming financial year," said Singh.
Of the 179 escalators that will be installed at major railway stations across the country, as announced by Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal during his budget speech, Pune station will get two.
"The administration is yet to determine the position of the two escalators. It is most likely that one would come up at the foot of the proposed FOB and the other at platform no 2-3 that witness maximum traffic," said Singh.
The Pune station currently has one escalator, which is largely underutilised because of its "wrong location" and frequent snags.
Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group said new escalators would come as a big relief for senior citizens and the physically challenged.
"In 1998, the Pune station got its first FOB, but it's hardly functional now. Given daily commuter traffic, about 2 lakh per day, even three escalators are hardly sufficient. However, it's a good news... The Pune station needs at least six functional escalators," said Shah.
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