With vegetation and slush-filled circulating (parking) area, inadequate platform shelters, shelter-less foot overbridge and many other lacunae, passenger amenities at Udupi Railway Station — which witnesses over 5,000 boarding and alighting passengers — are awfully inadequate, rue passengers.
The condition and facilities at the Station building under Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd., (KRCL) are an insult to the stature of Udupi City, which is a district headquarters, a popular pilgrimage and tourism centre and an education and healthcare hub (Manipal), regretted Paniyadi Srinivas Rao, who resides close to the Station in Indrali.
Visitors and passengers are forced to park their four and two-wheelers in slushy circulating (parking) area covered with thick vegetation and wait for trains in the rain. Neither is there proper lighting in the area, he said highlighting the failure of the parking area contractor in its maintenance and KRCL’s apathy in reprimanding him.
While Platform 1 has two shelters of approximately 150 mt long each, PF 2 absolutely has Nil, except two shed-like structures, that too got constructed by KRCL through corporate social responsibility, he said. The foot overbridge too does not have any shelter exposing passengers to rain and the Sun. It is a nightmarish experience to wait for and board a train at Udupi, Mr. Rao said.
Coach guidance display
While Udupi is a NSG 3 category Railway Station, Railway Ministry guidelines of installing electronic coach guidance display boards is hardly followed, said Gunakar Shetty, a resident of Udupi.
A retired KRCL officer said the boards were there in the initial days and came to be removed later for lack of maintenance. Passengers thus will not know where exactly their coach comes to a halt.
Though a grand structure, the station building looks pale following lack of regular maintenance, Mr. Shetty said and regretted even the Sri Krishna statue and the fountain at its front looks pathetic.
Stating that KRCL stations are as old as the British Era, Irving, a railfan said the infrastructure has been very poor. Gautam Shetty from Kundapura Railway Prayanikara Hitarakshana Vedike said KRCL is a failed public sector undertaking and nothing changes until the Corporation is merged with the Indian Railways.
KRCL’s Regional Railway Manager at Karwar, B.B. Nikam claimed that PF 1 has seven additional shelters while PF 2 has 8. Circulating area improvement work will be done after the Monsoon, he said adding flooring improvement work will be taken up shortly.