THANE: The partial shutdown of the Kalyan-end old foot overbridge (FOB) at Thane station since Monday has sparked fears among commuters as they feel that inadequate exit point can lead to a stampede-like situation. The authorities shut down the to carry out repair work. However, no prior intimation or announcements were made by the railways.
With the partial shutdown, commuters do not have access to platform number 2, 3 and 4. To make things worse, the administration has also failed to make alternate arrangement for commuters, adding up to their woes. Activists claim that the situation will get worse once the entire bridge is shut.

Several passengers, including senior citizens, claimed that they took the bridge from the east side of the station as there was no intimation of the west side that the birdge has been partially shut. The railways also failed to put up barricades at landings, due to which passengers climbed up the stair only to find that the bridge has been shut. “The work is crucial but was taken up without giving adequate notice to passengers. I had bought this to the notice of the railways, but in vain. The authorities have failed to alert commuters about the work and should have provided alternate arrangements,” said Nand Kumar Deshmukh, an activist.

“There are so many political banners being put up across the bridge, but there not one message alerting the passengers about the shutting of the bridge. We climbed all the way up from platform number 10 only to find that the exit on platform number 2 was blocked,” complained an elderly couple from .

Earlier, TOI had reported that the railways had scheduled a 70-day jumbo block to carry out the same repair work on February 3. However, the administration failed to begin work in time and suddenly started work from this week.

As per the plans, the bridge is likely to be shut for 70 days. And a fortnight later, the entire bridge will be shut for commuters. Activists fear that shutting the bridge will mean more pressure on the other FOBs and this can lead to a stampede-like situation, especially when trains arrive at the same time.

“Thane is a very busy station and witnesses nearly 4 to 5 lakh passengers daily. The railways should plan for some alternative exits,” said a commuter.

Meanwhile, senior railway officials admitted that work has begun after MP flagged it off on Sunday. They, however, said announcements were made and banners alerting passengers about the partial shutting of the FOB was put up at the station. “We are taking all precautions and have made adequate announcements alerting the public,” said a senior railway official.

Thane is a very busy station and witnesses nearly 4 to 5 lakh passengers daily. Platform number 2, 5 and 6 are one of the most congested. The railways should plan for some alternative exits

Thane is a very busy station and witnesses nearly 4 to 5 lakh passengers daily. Platform number 2, 5 and 6 are one of the most congested. The railways should plan for some alternative exits

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