Construction at Bahawalpur Railway Station in limbo

Work on the project started in May, 2016 and was originally supposed to be completed within 18 months


Kashif Zafar January 13, 2019
PHOTO: FILE

BAHAWALPUR:  

Despite the passage of 18 months, construction work at Bahawalpur Railway Station still remains incomplete.

In 2016, the project of constructing a new building for Bahawalpur Railway Station was given to the contractor National Logistics Cell (NLC) for approximately Rs278 million. Work on the project started in May, 2016 and was originally supposed to be completed within 18 months. However, two weeks into 2019, the end of the project is nowhere near in sight.

The delay in construction has caused a number of difficulties for passengers who are forced to tiptoe through an obstacle course in order to reach the railway platform. As a result, many differently-abled and elderly citizens have great difficulty in commuting.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Syed Imran Rizvi said that the alternative path which leads to the platform is not paved and is purely rubble. “The uneven dirt and rocks make it difficult to reach the platform,” he explained.

It is quite a task to take luggage to the platform, said Javad Anwar, another resident. Porters have taken benefit of the situation and demand for an exorbitant amount of money just to take the luggage to the platform, he maintained. On the other hand, Baqaul Mohsin stated that it was impossible for him to take his mother to the station as she is confined to a wheelchair.

Residents demand that the authorities concerned ensure that the project is completed on time so that passengers can get some relief. Meanwhile, when contacted, a source wishing to stay anonymous, said that the project had been delayed due to a lack of funds.

Once construction is complete, Bahawalpur Railway Station will have a waiting area on the ground floor with a capacity of 95 passengers and a cafeteria on the first floor. Around 10,039 square feet of the new building have been marked for commercial use. Further, a parking lot with the capacity to hold 86 cars and 300 motorcycles will also be constructed.

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