The Railway Administration has started works on installation of escalators for the commuters at railways stations to provide betterment of facilities. But the information provided to RTI Activist Anil Galgali in regard to the cost of purchase and installation of these escalators paints a different picture altogether. The cost for procurement and installations is different for Central and that for the Western Railways.
Galgali had filed an RTI in regard to the number of escalators installed at Railway Stations and the cost for the same. Central Railway’s Electric department’s Deputy Chief Engineer Neeraj Kumar Varma in his reply said that in all of 14 stations available with the Central Line 20 escalators have been installed. The total cost for the same is 11,90,60,388. The ones (8 nos) installed at Dadar, Thane, Dombivali and Kalyan costed 4.35 crores which means for 1 escalator the cost is coming up to Rs. 54,37,500. The ones (4 nos) installed at Ulhasnagar, Bhandup and Vidyavihar have costed 3,09,93,750/ fuming to Rs. 77,48,437.50/- per escalator. The cost of Kanjurmarg escalator was Rs. 76.96,000, Vikroli Rs. 72,62,625 whereas the one at Mulund was built at a cost of Rs. 77,45,309.
On the western line 34 escalators have been installed at 13 Stations. Andheri has seven, Bhayendar one, Borivali five, Dadar two, Vile Parle one, six in Goregaon, one in Kandivali, two in Vasai road, one in Nallasopara, two in Surat, two in Vadodara , Ratlam has two, and Ahmedabad has two out of all 34 escalators.
Galgali has expressed concern about the variance in the cost of installation of escalators and expressed that if the contract has been awarded to only one company then cost would have been uniformed and the variance wouldn’t have arised. He has demanded a probe in the same.