... but managing to come out unscathed from the melee outside the station is a task in itself
So, children, what have we learnt, from the numerous rounds of our suburban stations over the past two weeks? That they need better and more infrastructure, and fast.
Borivli station offers wide bridges...
And then, on the other end are stations that have got a bouquet of upgrades but, it seems, in vain; for example Andheri, Borivli, Kurla and Thane, besides a few others, which haven't seen any better crowd dispersal or management than their neglected counterparts.
... but incomplete work on a booking office, with debris around, is an eyesore and inconvenience
Reason: the basics are still off — blockage off access points mostly due to hawkers and encroachments. The railways is now working with the state government and local bodies to tackle this. At a multidisciplinary coordination meeting held in Bandra last week, BMC and other agencies agreed to keep 150 metres outside railway stations free of hawkers.
Andheri station's skywalks are a delight...
"The real solution for Mumbai will always be building an alternative mode of transport, equally dependable and cheap.
... a narrow and uneven entry-exit point, which gets choked during peak hours, is still a problem
There have been several plans and studies regarding this since the late 1960s, with money being spent on them, but all that has come out of it is spiral-bound reports, now stacked at MMRDA offices and available for a fee," a senior railway official said.
While Kurla station has got new bridges...
"Mumbai had a sturdy tram network that was shut down in 1964, and the city became dependent on the local trains run by the central government — the fastest and cheapest, at 18 paise per km, mode of transport. And due to political pressure and increase in crowds, the number of services kept on rising, till reaching a point now that the existing infrastructure is unable to take the pressure."