This bridge rains filth

Published on April 21, 2015 13:17:14 PM
The age-old R P Road railway underpass continues to give commuters jitters because of the fear that human excreta may fall on them with express trains running overhead. With the route offering the shortest connectivity from Patny towards Tank Bund, it attracts thousands of users every day. Though commuters’ angst at having to traverse the underpass has been felt over the past several years, officials of Southern Central Railway (SCR) have been turning a blind eye to this stomach-churning occurrence that unfolds at least 35 times every day.

A businessman B Krishna, who visited RP Road to buy wholesale goods, said on Friday that due to human waste falling on him, he has undergone several awkward moments. "I wonder why railway officials are unable to find a solution to this problem which has been in existence for decades. Imagine the impact it could have on road-users or even tourists, who unknowingly pass through the underpass and are drenched in human waste!” he said.

Hyderabad district disabled education coordinator Urmila Devi said locals were already worried about the prevailing unhygienic conditions. "No one crosses the bridge without holding their breath for a while or covering their face with a cloth. Imagine the plight of school-going children,” she said. Municipal entomologist of Secunderabad division D Ramesh said that though officials have been spraying and using bleach powder as well as liquid regularly, they have not been able to sanitize the bridge area. Not only commuters but traffic police personnel also face the brunt of underpass because whenever an express train crosses the bridge, vehicles suddenly stop and stall traffic on the busy section for two minutes.

This ultimately results in a trickle-down effect and disturbs and delays regular traffic by as much as 10 to 15 minutes, despite the presence of sufficient traffic personnel in the area. SCR Chief PRO M Umashankar Kumar assured that he would inform the department concerned to carry out repair works on the tracks. "We never received any complaints reading this matter,” he said. An official from the SCR said that the iron tracks had been designed to prevent water stagnation and to safeguard the bridge from rusting, hence the perennial problem.