Central Railway plans higher platforms at small stations

Pune: The Railway administration of the Pune Division has planned to increase the height of platforms at smaller stations on the Pune-Lonavla, Kolhapur and Daund section in a phased manner. The height will be increased from six inches up to one foot depending on the requirement of a particular station.

Daily commuters travelling in Daund-bound trains want the height of platforms that were low raised since citizens, especially children, find it difficult to get into trains.

Vikas Deshpande, member of the Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee, said, “Halts of trains at smaller stations are for two to three minutes. It becomes challenging for commuters to find the exact coach and to get into trains with their luggage within two minutes. We had urged the administration to lift the height of platforms at three stations — Manjari, Kadethan and Khutbav — urgently. All three stations are located in the Pune-Daund section.”

“The administration has agreed to increase the heights of platforms and has said that it has initiated tenders,” Deshpande said.

The increase in height now would help in the longer run. The administration has already taken up electrification of the Pune-Daund section which will be followed by introduction of EMU local trains up to Daund. These local trains require higher platforms, Deshpande said.

Officials in the railway administration said they already have completed lifting of the platform’s height at major stations between Pune and Lonavla. Platform surfaces have been repaired at some stations, officials said.

Raising the height of platforms was discussed during a recent meeting of the DRUCC. Authorities said they were working to increase the height of platforms in Pune-Kolhapur and Pune-Lonavla sections. Mahendra Jagtap, one of the members, has urged the administration to increase the height of platforms at Jejuri and consider provision of a new railway track between Jejuri and Baramati via Moregaon.

Other issues raised by the members included provision of adequate security staff in trains during night hours, augmentation of coaches in the mail and passenger trains to Satara, Baramati and Kolhapur and halts to express trains at Urali.