By bappaditya paul
Barely three years of the station being opened, rainwater has started leaking through the ground-floor ceiling of Shahid Khudiram (Briji) Metro station in Kolkata, inconveniencing commuters and staff alike.
Today at noon, rainwater dribbled down through two places at the station’s ground floor ~ in front of the flap entry gates and near the station superintendent (SS) control room. Passengers had to bypass the area while making entry through the flap gates to avoid getting drenched. Metro staff placed a bucket in front of the SS control room to stop the rainwater from spilling over the station’s central atrium.
The station staff said that this was not happening for the first time. “This has been happening for sometime now whenever it rains a little too heavy. It seems rainwater that accumulates on the viaduct and flows into the elevated track-bed is making its way through some porous zones. Earlier it was only in front of the SS control room where rainwater was dribbling down in small volume, but now the situation is getting worse and new areas are also being affected,” said a station staff unwilling to be named.
Contacted over the issue, Metro Railway’s chief engineer, Parasuram Singh, said that rainwater was probably seeping because of loosening of the seal put in place to cover the gap between girders within the station area or because of jamming of the “roof-gutters” that are meant for draining out rainwater. “Until now, the matter didn’t come to my notice. We will look into it and fix the problem at the earliest,” he said over the phone.
Shahid Khudiram Metro station is the last but one station located on Kolkata’s southern fringes, between Garia Bazar and Garia railway station, and was thrown open to passengers on 7 October 2010. The construction work for the Metro’s viaduct between Tollygunge and New Garia and also the stations, was outsourced to four private construction firms.
Apart from Shahid Khudiram station, leakage of water has been troubling commuters at Kavi Subhash Metro station as well. Water has been oozing at the entrance of the approach steps that leads to the sub-urban Up platform for sometime now but the authorities have been reluctant to fix the malady.
(The author is Senior Reporter, The Statesman, India. This report first appeared in The Statesman on 14 June 2013.)