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The sorry state of Carmelaram Station

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Commuter Rail

I want to share a horrible experience I had yesterday at Carmelaram station.  A family member was coming from Kerala on the 12678 Ernakulam-SBC Intercity express.  For me, the best option to pick up a traveler from the point of view of convenience is Carmelaram Station.  The other option is Catonment which is a nightmarish drive into the city and back away.  Just like me, a huge number of people from the SE part of Bangalore use Carmelaram station to board and alight from this train.

Now, the SBC-Salem section is all single line which poses a huge problem.  In order for trains to pass each other, the only feasible place are the stations where there are two lines.  So the train which comes fairly on schedule upto Hosur can then find itself massively delayed in the crawl into Bangalore city.  There is another problem too.  Invariably, at Carmelaram, the train stops on platform no 2, so that anopther train going the other way can pick up passengers from PF 1.  PF 1 is in the middle of an upgrade which incudes  increasing height and length to an extent.  So right now it is a mud platform with a tiled edge which with the recent rains is slushy, has dangerous metal objects protruding and poorly lit,

PF 2 on which this train stopped requires passengers to descend the ladder to find terra firma.  The plight of some of thjose advanced in age and with heavy luggage is really sad.  Of course, if you are unlucky enough, you will land up in a coach located beyond the platform.  So you decend precariously onto stone jelly and shrubs beyond which the land falls of a little bit.

Now that the background is laid, what happened to me yesterday?  I went to the station at 6:45 pm for the expected 6:50 pm arrival.  Train had departed Hosur a mere 10 minutes or so late.  A short while later, the train pulled up 100 m short of the station and waited.  After a 45 minute wait, it honked and chugged into PF 2.  I had crossed over to the other side and in the pouring rain that had just started, located the 17th coach from the engine and my relative who is femlae and older with not so good knees.  She had the distinct pleasure of descending onto a bed of Jelly and narrow strip of earth.  We walked and climbed on to the low platform and waited, huddled under the umbrella I had carried.  After what another 5 minutes, a Diesel MEMU or whatever pulled into PF1.  Both trains departed.

Now we were faced with another dilemma ... how to cross and climb on to PF1.  No footbridge exists.  So we crossed the tracks only to realize that my relative will not be able to make the climb with her age and knees.  I made a step by clasping my hands together and she used that to climb on to the platform.  Then we trudged across the slushy, muddy PF 1 to the station building to exit, only to realize that it was not possible.  Every square inch of space inside the building was occupied by passengers (incoming and outgoing) who did not want to step out into the rain.  Somehow, like trying to do darshan at one of our many crowded religious places, we managed to exit the building and made a wet, tired trek to the car and drive back home.

Is this the state of affairs at a station which is well within Bangalore city.  With modern machinery and a proper contract, I can get those platforms upgraded in couple of months.  This work has been going on from when I had my old phone... well more than a year. And all they are upgrading is PF 1.  RM Sadanada Gowda and his predecessors such as Kharge must be ashamed as well as SWR. Improved platforms, a foot overbridge and better ameneties at Carmelaram are essential.  They should also quickly double the track of the BLR-HSR line till Hosur and maybe even electrify at least to avoid the interminable delays.  It will also help in running better passenger rail service.  The passenger trains I saw were reasonably well occupied.

Carmelaram also has the potential to serve the Wipro campus and other IT offices comin in the area on Sarjapur road.

 

Comments

Sanjeev's picture

its sad state of IT city and good to see u sharing the experien

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These are all dark side of IT city where for per METRO station 35 Crore looks to be peanuts,  but for Indian Railway stations, even 10 Lakhs is considered big thing by no less the PM of this country.    Also its sharing such good experience will alert  other citizens and they get prepared  while visit to the station. 

Sanjeev's picture

posted on Dr Anup SDCM on his page on facebbok

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Please write on his page on facebook, its required to make these officers that citizens are crying for  the improvement.

sanjayv's picture

Pleasant surprise

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I went to the same station today, 15 days after my original post.  Guess what... the main platform is completely concreted now.  Compared to the glacial pace of work thus far, this much transformation in 15 days was a stunner! Good job SWR.  I am not sure if this post and complaints had any effect, but this is good.... but there is more to do.

Now I wish they do the other things.  Raise the other platform, provide a foot overbridge and double the track all the way. I have shared some pictures.  In one you can clearly see how low the other platform is!
 

Photos here, here and here.

sanjayv's picture

Railway Response to Grievance

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I filed a grievance with the Railways on the state of Carmelaram station with a link to this blog.  Request was for (a) Raising PF2 (2) Providing FOB. Their response is appended below with no comments. Grievance No is MORLY/E/2014/14464

With reference to the above, the representation of Shri Sanjay V has been examined in detail the following remarks are offered.  Rising of Platform on PF-2 Provision of FOB:- CRLM is an ‘E’ Category Station rail level PF is mandated as per Railway Board norms. However, PF No.1 has been raised to high level PF recently. Further, it is to inform that generally, all trains are received on PF-1 and occasionally trains are received on PF-2 for crossing purpose only. Provision of FOB is not mandated at ‘E’ Category Station.

 

Sanjeev's picture

Thanks Sanjya for taking up the issue

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These small things makes big difference in public service of Railways.

General way of attending issues in Railways is  that,  more complaints or more passengers purchase tickets from station will qualify for the better amenities / facilities.

Few years back,   reservation counter at Yesvantpur use to suggest me,  book  boarding point from Yesvantpur  and not city station.  This will help to show more passengers use the station for boarding.

Same case may be with Karmelaram station,  people may be taking City station / Cantonemnt / Yesvantpur as boarding and getting down or getting in at Karmelaram station and thats reason its still E category sttaion where as Lottegolahalli and  Kodigehalli station have got FOB approved and work also progressing for  two Platforms with FOB and Passenger waiting room. 

Even though not even single Express / Intercity train has stop at these two stations.  Also doubling of Track has help these two stations for improvements.

Shinoy's picture

Carmelaram Station on March 19th morning.

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Carmelram Station on 19/03/2015 7am. Platform No 1 has been raised to a higher level.CRLM station towards Hosur. Passenger waiting for Ernakulam intercity.CRLM station is getting a parking lot. its just an assumption.Currently cars are parked on the road which gets congested/jammed post passengers alight/aboard the trains. Hope dumping of debris is for rising the land level.Kannur-Yashwanthpur arrives at CRLM.Bangalore-Ernakulam Intercity exp arrives on PF NO 1. Running late by 30mins.Passengers clueless and running towards reserved coaches.Loved the convenience of alighting the train.Sincerely pity the sad state of our indian coaches.

amithpallavoor's picture

What about the stations in

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What about the stations in the non IT/ Industrial corridor? They are in a much worse shape than Carmelaram.

People from Vijayanagar shall vouch for this fact. Seems like nobody gives a damn about woeful state of infra in Peenya, Nayandahalli, Jnanabharathi. All the attention seems to be focused on ORR, Whitefield and E City.

Sanjeev's picture

Carmelaram Station 2.0 in the Making

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The station, which is barely 2km from Wipro campus, helps a number of IT staff
The Bengaluru division of Southwestern Railway has decided to upgrade the Carmelaram railway station near the Wipro campus in Doddakannelli in view of high usage levels, especially by IT sector employees.

The station is about 2 km from Wipro, and several IT and BPO workers use pas senger and express trains to reach their a offices around Sarjapur road. Several s thousand people work in offices such as Cisco and Accenture on the outer ring road. For those commuting from north t Bengaluru, Carmelaram is located stra i tegically, and they can reach their offices a by road from here. There are many edu n cational institutions and residential lay o outs nearby. “There is no doubt that up b grading stations like Carmelaram and Bellandur on the eastern parts of the city P and Heelalige near Electronics City can significantly ease travel time for people working in the IT belt. A train ride from Carmelaram or Bellandur to Hebbal just takes around 30 minutes. Even with poor infrastructure, infrequent connections and last mile connectivity issues, a good number of our employees use the train option. However, we have a long way to go before it gains wider acceptance“. “Integrating multi-modal options by leveraging existing infrastructure, augmenting it where required and coordination between different government transport agencies is what is required,“ said Hariprasad Hegde, global head (operations), Wipro.

The railway authorities have taken note of the increased taken note of the increased earnings at this small station, and a sharp increase in footfalls, which have touched 40,000 a day. “There is a lot of patronage from people for this station,“ said Sunanda Arul, additional divisional railway manager (ADRM) at Bengaluru division. “We are getting lots of feedback from people to improve facilities at the station.“

Carmelaram, which is about 24 km by rail from the city railway station, was commissioned on January 13, 2003 after the Bengaluru-Salem line was converted from meter gauge into broad gauge. The closest station to the location earlier was Bellandur, which has now been reduced into a `halt' station.

“The upgrade will include extending the platform length to accommodate express trains, and raising the height of the platform,“ Arul said. The railways will also build platform shelters, benches, pay and use toilets and other amenities.The whole project may take a year to complete. While all passenger trains halt at the station, four express trains also do so. These are the Ernakulam Inter-City Express, the Myladuthurai Express, the Mysore-Tuticorin Express and the Yeshwantpur-Kannur Express.

The railways is looking forward to support from the corporate sector to develop Carmelaram into a model station.

“If the IT companies include Carmelaram in their CSR (corporate social responsibility) budget, and sponsor works here, we can make it into a model station, and build proper access roads, landscaping, wi-fi facilities etc,“ Arul said.

Infosys executive vice president Ramadas Kamath hailed the initiative and urged the authorities to include Heelalige station, near Electronic City, for a similar upgrade. “If Heelalige station is upgraded and gets more train services, it will help more than one lakh IT and garment sector workers in and around Electronics City,“ he said.

http://epaperbeta.timesof...

Looking at reply to Sanjay and now  ADRM statement, both r contradictory.

Also Infosys  VP Ramadas Kamath should call Railway Minister and PM to tell about the poor response of SWR or no response  on CSR support to railways by some companies

Even at Whitefield,  some companies have written to Railways for supporting thru CSR activity,  but SWR has not responded or they want companies to run post to pillar for doing CSR activity.

PM & Railway Minister : Open ur eyes and ears and see  how bad Railways is going down during last one year.   Flashy things will not help passengers and its only ground action by Railway officials  and  Railway Officials attitude can make difference to Railway services

 

 

 

 

Sanjeev's picture

Carmelaram Station and Hosur Station getting PF shelters

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P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A:link { }

1. SW-1  HSRA - Provision of sky frame shelter on PF - 1 and 2/3.

2. SW - II: CRLM: Provision of sky frame shelter 896 sqm 448 sqm on each platform of PF 1 & 2

P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A:link { }

3. HSRA: Pro. Improvements to goods shed area duly providing interlocked paver blocks with segregation of goods shed area

Costing Rs 1.44 Crore  and  Rs 83 Lakhs

http://www.swr.indianrail...

sanjayv's picture

Update

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I was at Carmelaram station today. Pleasantly surprised to find PF2 being raised and extended and structural frames being put up for shelter on PF1. Good going IR. Now, when you dig to lay foundation for your structure (with a seeming factor of safety of 100, I must add), can you dump mud so that people can walk comfortably without risking falling on to the tracks? Secondly, please look into an overbridge as well.
amithpallavoor's picture

I don't think the line

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I don't think the line between HSRA and YPR shall ever be doubled to run suburban services. There is no awareness about suburban rail in Hosur and politcal considerations also mean we shall never see this line being developed. 

The stations on this stretch are very poorly connected with no proper roads, street light and there is no connectivity by buses. Reminds me of Hafizpet station in Hyderabad. 

GOK may double the line till Anekal in the future. Beyond that it is TN's call. TN was never in favour of 50:50 formula for railway projects. They have been lucky that the rail infrastructure is comparitively better than KA mainly because of the fact that since their population density is much higher because of which historically railways has spent a lot of money building and upgrading rail infrastructure in TN. More importantly, SR operates much better than SWR anyday.
 
Shinoy's picture

Upgradation at Belandur road station???

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The pictures were shot couple of months ago. Looks like there is some kind of upgradation happening at Belandur road station, Possibly a second track???

Looks like they are working on platform 2

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