In a dubious distinction for Mumbai, not even a single station in the suburban section could make into the top 20 clean stations in India, according to the biggest-ever cleanliness survey by railways.
Eight busiest stations of the city participated in the survey.
Among the 407 stations surveyed, Mumbai Central station on Western Railway (WR), clocking 21st position, is the cleanest station in the city, while Bandra terminus is the dirtiest, relegated to 292nd rank.
Panvel station on Central Railway (CR) is ranked 35, followed by Lokmanya Tilak Terminus 85; the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, where zonal and divisional headquarter of CR are located, 129; Thane 140. Dadar and Kalyan stations stood at 102 and 107.
Beas station in Punjab is ranked the cleanest station in India followed by Gandhidham in Gujarat and Vasco-Da-Gama in Goa. Launched under the ‘Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ with the objective of measuring passengers satisfaction with cleanliness at station premises, the survey covered 407 major railway stations across the country — 75 ‘A1’ category stations and 332 ‘A’ category stations.
The Environment and Housekeeping Management Directorate of the Railway Board had commissioned the survey. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) conducted it through a private agency TNS India Private Limited. More than 1,30,000 people were surveyed on the basis of overall cleanliness, taking into account 40 different parameters.
Main parameters of the survey were condition of station floorings, control of rodents, pests and mosquitoes, waste management facility, condition of toilets and storage, disposal of scrap material, etc. Feedback was also gathered from railway officials, porters and vendors from each station.
Main concerns of passengers were related to stench, non-availability of dustbins, delay in cleaning and absence of better toilets.
Activists blamed sorry state of affairs in Mumbai to neglect by railways and advocated coordinations among various agencies.
Interestingly, the railway station at Lonavala, which is one of the popular hill stations in Maharashtra, ranked 386.
“Of the total number of passengers travel on entire Indian railways, half of them travel in Mumbai suburban. But authorities are not paying adequate attention to ensure overall cleanliness at the suburban stations,” said Rajiv Singhal, a railway activist.
He suggested that railway authorities and passengers should work together to improve the cleanliness at the stations.