The Wannabe Eye Specialists

They were white, running across a black background and comparatively tiny. One had to literally stand below them and crane one’s neck to make a head or tail out of it. Once they came on the scene, or rather screen, the people had to leave their vantage positions, run helter skelter and be in their close proximity to understand and decide on the next course of action. They tested the long distance vision, the stamina and the speed of the people who crowded to have a look at them.

The people were not watching any exotic creatures but we forced to give these reactions since their lives depended upon them during their daily struggle to earn the daily bread.

If you are confused, I don’t blame you because we are talking about the humble indicators inside Mumbai railway stations.

Recently the railway authorities replaced the red indicators with new, improved (?), energy saving black and white indicators and caused chaos in the local passengers lives.

The passengers who grabbed vantage positions on the FOB’s of the railway stations, to see the platform indicators from afar, which platform their next train would arrive, are now forced to descend in droves on the platforms and crowd near the indicators, as they are not visible even from a respectable distance.

It is not so much the B&W nature of the indicators but the reduced font which is to blame for this unfortunate scenario. Perhaps, it’s a result of some AC cabin denizen taking decisions not based on field reality. Or were they decided by some Eye specialist who wanted to do a free survey of the passengers eye sight?

Let’s see what corrective action is now taken, which seems unlikely due to the crores already spent to implement purported latest technology.

Whatever happens, it seems that Mumbai railway passengers are geared for a eye straining time; the same passengers who already travel cattle class in train compartments bursting at the seams.

Yatindra Tawde

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