PUNE: The new foot overbridge (FOB) at Pune station, among the widest in the Central Railways, will be inaugurated on Wednesday.
“The foot overbridge is an important project and its construction was speeded up last year. This will be the fourth overbridge at Pune station and one of the widest in the Central Railway. We hope that the rush on the old foot overbridge will reduce. It will increase passenger safety,” an official with the said.
At present, only one foot overbridge is connected to all the platforms. It has an exit towards the second entry of the station. It is used frequently by the passengers.
During the evening hours, the overbridge witnesses a huge rush of people with many passengers missing trains because of the milling crowd. Even though a lot of steps have been taken to ensure that the old foot overbridge is not clogged, it has not helped, the official said.
Arjun Joshi, who travels frequently on local trains, said the new foot overbridge is a relief. “I have been through tough situations on the old FOB many times. The other two FOBs are not used by passengers as frequency because they are not connected to all the platforms. The time between 4pm and 7pm is very difficult with so many people using the lone FOB leading to a panic-type situation. Even though RPF men manage the crowd urging them not to stand idle and walk in one line, nothing much has improved. These steps were introduced only after the Elphinstone Road tragedy in Mumbai. I have missed trains due to the rush. Hence the new FOB is a relief.” Joshi is a resident of Shivajinagar.
Rail officials said stress was on making the FOB wider. “The structure is 12m wide and all passengers will be able to walk with ease. At present, the FOB is connected by stairs. Within some months, escalators will come up,” the official said.
A crushing machine will also start functioning from Wednesday, the official added. The machine has been placed near the waiting hall on platform number 1.
Passengers use the end of the old FOB the most as it has an exit towards the second entry to the station on Raja Bahadur Mills Road, near the Pune division railway office. A skywalk connecting them was opened recently.
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