Anantnag, Aug 7: Despite being an important terminal on the Kashmir train network, Railway Station Anantnag lacks a proper water supply, causing its washrooms to be left dirty and defunct. While taps run dry at the station is also erratic.
While commuters complain that officials are unmoved by their repeated complaints and requests, the officials put the blame partly on two CRPF units that they say are “illegally occupying” the Railways’ buildings and draining the station’s limited water resources.
A group of commuters said the station has no basic facilities as promised by the railway authorities.
“We never saw any arrangement for water here, which makes commuters suffer, especially women folk,” said Nazir Ahmad Malik, who travels regularly to Srinagar from the station.
Bilal Ahmad a resident of Harnag, said that commuters are forced to use the nearby open fields to relieve themselves due to the lack of sanitation facilities at the station. The station is also without any drinking water facility.
“There is not one functional bathroom in the station, and electricity break downs are the order of the day,” another commuter said.
Shahnawaz Ali, another Anantnag resident, said that despite several demonstrations before the railway authorities, no steps were taken to solve the problem.
“The lavatories and washrooms in the station have been dysfunctional for years, and the bad smell from the bathrooms irks passengers,” Shahnawaz said.
Rais Ahmad, a college student, said that local residents had submitted written complaints to the authorities as well.
“The Swachh Bharat mission has miserably failed here. As you can see, the railway premises are surrounded with heaps of polythene and dirt, which shows the slumber of the railway authorities,” Rais said.
“We have time and again requested the authorities concerned to look into the matter so that the sufferings of people could come to an end,” he said.
Officials at the station said they have written about the problems to the higher authorities but have got no response.
A senior official said the bore well meant for the station failed to provide it water, leading to the water supply crisis.
“Alternative arrangements were made from a nearby canal, but local villagers were disrupting the services without any reason,” he said.
Railway officials added that two units of CRPF have illegally occupied three Railways’ buildings, and their use of excessive water leads to tripping.
“We are facing problems to get water for sanitation purposes, but when these forces use the same water, it makes the public suffer,” an official said.
Officials said they had brought the station’s problems to the notice of the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and top Railways officials, but despite commitments, nothing had been done.