Lahore: Railway station security plan irks people

SECUTIRY measures at the Lahore Railway Station are causing inconvenience to people and encouraging porters to charge at will.

Only passengers are allowed to enter platforms and those who come to see off or receive their relatives and friends are left with no option but to brave sultry weather in waiting halls. Waiting halls are always cramped with people. It is a matter of routine that trains run a couple of hours late. Such a situation affects people as they have nowhere to go but to wait outside in the shade of trees or whatever shelter they can find as waiting halls are filled to capacity.

PR authorities have restricted the entry of people to platforms as they say that rush of people can invite acts of terrorism. Interestingly, railway authorities have completely overlooked the number of people outside platforms.

The restriction on entry of people to platforms has not helped passengers or those coming to receive them or see them off but it has surely helped porters who have started minting money from helpless passengers.

They overcharge passengers at will. Previously, majority of people used to carry their luggage themselves aided by their relatives and friends but now porters are officially authorized to charge Rs 30 per bag. They are, however, charging Rs 100 for a single bag.

“We came here to drop our grandmother who is a heart patient. We have been waiting here in intense heat for the past two hours because the train is late. We cannot leave her unattended at the platform. The staff here is uncooperative making things worse,” complained a frustrated man accompanying an elderly woman.

“If they want to improve security, they should build a wall or fence along the railway track right from Garhi Shahu to Domoria Pul. Anyone can simply walk all the way to the platform unchecked and unnoticed no matter how strict checking is practiced at gates. This step to restrict entry has done nothing except create problems for people,” said an irritated woman.

“The seating arrangements are poor. There are not enough fans. We cannot help the elderly get on the train. They are forcing us to leave our beloved at the mercy of porters who are charging Rs 100 extra for helping a passenger get on the train and find the seat. We will never make the mistake of travelling by train again,” said another man.

When contacted, the station manager said security had been tightened for the protection of passengers. He, however, agreed somewhat that security measures were inconveniencing people more than helping them.

Source: The News

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