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Posted at: Jun 10, 2019, 7:20 AM; last updated: Jun 10, 2019, 7:20 AM (IST)

Reconstruction of dilapidated railway station portion begins

Reconstruction of dilapidated railway station portion begins
The demolished structure of the railway station in Amritsar. Tribune photo: Vishal Kumar

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 9

Finally, the reconstruction of the erstwhile current ticket window section, accounts office and a part of the general waiting hall at the city railway station has commenced. Declared unsafe years ago, it has been out of bound for passengers, causing congestion at other gates to the railway station.

The railway shifted the current reservation counters to a newly raised window inside the general waiting hall over an year ago. A new set of six current booking windows was raised inside the general waiting passenger hall after parts of the ceiling got peeled off.

However, railway offices had been continuing to operate from a dilapidated building despite the fact that the engineering wing of the railway had declared it unsafe. As a stopgap arrangement, barricading with a brick wall was done under the most unsafe part of the ceiling. This had led to an extremely narrow passage to the 1A platform.

The building dates back to the British era. The rundown building had posed a grave danger to the staff members, whose offices were located there, and passengers visiting the area. In a letter dated September 9, 2014, Northern Railway Divisional Engineer had declared the roof opposite to the current booking office and adjoining offices, near the waiting hall, unsafe. The letter also stated, “Some portion of the roof of the said building has fallen during heavy rains in the past few days. The roof is made of battens and tiles, which were eaten up, thus weak in strength. Walls and arches show cracks at various spots.”

It also admitted that “passengers stood in a queue round the clock for buying tickets under the said structure.” The building has a cluster of offices linked to IT not only of the local railway station, but also of 42 other stations. So it was necessary to pull down the rickety structure and reconstruct a new one to avoid any mishap which could have hampered the work of all these stations.

The rickety structure used to have six booking office counters, a booking office passenger hall, unreserved ticketing system server room, booking office stock room, office of the chief booking supervisor for public dealing, a branch office of the NRMU and a station superintendent store for stocking uniforms, stationery and safety material for guards posted in running trains.

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