A bout of heavy rainfall in Bengaluru caused the ceilings to leak and the floor to flood at the city’s Sir M Visvesvaraya Railway Terminal in Byappanahalli on April 24. The terminal, which is set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon, is the first centralised air-conditioned railway terminal in the country built at a cost of Rs 314 crore and has an airport-like design. Pictures shared on social media by a reporter from the Times of India showed water pouring into the station from a gap in the ceiling. Another image showed a man standing in thigh-deep water that had flooded in the subway connecting two platforms.
Bengaluru saw heavy rain on Saturday, with the Indian Meteorological Department stating that the city overall saw seven centimetres of rainfall in the day. Rainfall occurred at many places over south interior Karnataka and at isolated places over coastal Karnataka and north interior Karnataka, the IMD said.
Responding to a string of tweets with pictures of the leaking roof, South Western Railway (SWR) said, “The overflow from the valley gutter of the roof canopy leading rainwater into drain resulted in the ingress of water into the main building for some time, which receded upon cessation of rain. Our team has identified and is committed to putting remedial measures in place.”
“The water flow on the canopy (completed since Sept 2020), has been successfully tested last monsoon. However, the rainwater harvesting system is being fine-tuned for contingencies or sudden heavy downpour to prevent any backflow and channel smooth flow to the drainage system. We are committed to ensuring the safety and convenience of our passengers,” SWR said.
The inauguration of the new Sir M Visvesvaraya Railway Terminal at Byappanahalli that was earlier scheduled for March 15, has been delayed. The terminal, built at a cost of Rs 314 crore, is to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister, and AK Verma, General Manager of the South Western Railways had earlier told TNM that they are waiting for a date from the PM’s office.
The terminal has been much awaited, as it has been advertised as a modern coaching terminal equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. The terminal, which is designed like that of the Bengaluru airport, will have a waiting hall, a VIP lounge with a digital real-time passenger information system and a lavish food court. It will also have its own water recycling plant with a capacity of 4 lakh litres, officials had said.
The station structure of the terminal consists of about 4,200 square metres of covered area and is expected to receive a daily footfall of about 50,000. The terminal has seven platforms, and eight stabling lines; apart from these, three pit lines enable the terminal to operate 50 trains daily. It is expected to handle 32 pairs of trains once operations begin.
The Union Railway Minister had shared pictures of the terminal last month: