If this platform had more people, 3 lives would have been saved

The new terminal remains grossly under-utilised even as New Delhi railway station is under-equipped for load


Jasleen Kaur | May 19, 2010

An empty platform at the Anand Vihar railway terminal
An empty platform at the Anand Vihar railway terminal

Sunday's stampede at the New Delhi railway station was explained away as a 'trip-up' by the following evening. But as anyone who has boarded or deboarded a train there would tell you, the tragedy remains a case of too little for too many. From space, seating, to foot-over-bridges - the station simply has not been built to handle the traffic it does. The Railways probe committee might choose to hide behind euphemisms, but the uncomfortable admission of some officials is that the station has far from adequate infrastructure for managing the crowds that throng its platforms during announcements and in between.

New Delhi railway station

Congested stairs between foot over-bridge and platform at New Delhi railway station caused the stampede

However, the railways was not playing the fiddle exactly while the stampede was in the making - the spanking new yet shamefully underutilised Anand Vihar railway terminal can vouch for it.

Built at a cost of Rs 240 cr and spread over 6,000 sqm, the terminal was inaugurated last December to ease some of the pressure off the New Delhi station by shifting some trains here. Six months later it serves three to four east-bound (Bihar, UP, WB) trains - and from May 1, some summer special trains. It doesn't even begin to scratch at the figure of 272 trains that start and end at New Delhi railway station - so much for easing the burden.

Railway officials are quick with their defence for the delay in making the terminal fully functional. Blame is volleyed between shortage of staff, delay in construction of platforms 1 and 2, to a highway on the route that delayed laying of tracks.

A highway between Sahibabad and Anand Vihar, reportedly, delayed the laying of the tracks to the terminal by couple of months. A December deadline only made sure that all efforts went into making at least one track ready for inauguration by then. Thus, while platform 3 was ready for use, platforms 1 and 2 could be up and running only by February this year.

Some officials, in rare introspection for the department, even blame some peers for pandering to their whims instead of looking out for the best interests of the passengers and the railways itself. They claim that some offcials from outside Delhi, want trains plying to their region to start from New Delhi.

Anand Vihar

The new railway terminal at Anand Vihar

Part of the reason for a luke warm response from the public could also have been the limited commutation options to the Anand Vihar terminal from other parts of Delhi. But with the Metro service now available literally at the its door-step, this problem also has been long remedied.

Whatever be the reason(s), the fact that New Delhi railway station is balking under pressure is there for all to see. On the day of the stampede, the site of the tragedy, platforms 12 and 13, were lost beneath 14,000 pairs of feet. All this while both platforms can collectively hold a maximum of 5,000 people. The Anand Vihar terminal, meanwhile, barely evens feel the presence (pic) of the 4,000-4,500 footfalls it records daily.

Now, in the aftermath of the stampede, the Railways is talking about making greater use of the Anand Vihar railway terminal - it is mulling more trains running to and from West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand being shifted here - but does it not seem like 'adequate, but late'?



Other News

Vice President springs surprise, speaks in 22 languages

Highlighting the importance of preserving, protecting and promoting Indian languages, the vice president of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu spoke in 22 languages at an event to mark International Mother Language Day in New Delhi. He urged all the citizens to take a pledge to promote mother tongue and also lea

Title Insurance: new product for old issues

Real estate is among the priciest investments around. More so for the common man who has to live with the burden of monthly EMIs. Yet, it is an art to discover the real owner of any property. Government and revenue records, which are easily accessible to the public, are not properly maintained. Individual

Aadhaar linkage with electoral roll on cards

The election commission of India (ECI) has been working on a series of electoral reforms, and the agenda includes linking Aadhaar with the electoral roll, considering paid news and false affidavit as electoral offence/corrupt practice, better monitoring the role of print media and social media intermediari

Save Panje wetland, give it Ramsar status: environmentalists

To protect the fast depleting wetlands against being used as landfill and for development activities in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR), environmentalists have asked the centre to declare the 289-hectare Panje wetlands in Uran tehsil of Raigarh district as a ‘Ramsar site’ and preserve its ecol

All you wanted to know about Mumbai’s coastal road

Mumbai is building a coastal road to cut through traffic snarls and make life easier for commuters. The ambitious project, part of the city’s Development Plan (DP) 2035, is the second major initiative after the Bandra-Worli sea link, and should become a reality in 2023. Here are the key facts

Delhi elections: accounting for intangibles away from banal nationalism and hyper nationalism

The party that came into existence on the intangible timeworn issue of corruption, transparency and increasing public investment through public savings is going on winning elections in Delhi with huge margins, consistently rowing the boat between doldrums and high tides. Somewhere between the doldr


Current Issue


CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter