After 10pm, most stations on the central line don't make announcements about the arrival of local trains at a particular platform.
But from March 2011, public announcements on all suburban Central Railway (CR) stations will be on 24x7.
The railway administration has proposed to start continuous announcement system after passengers’ associations complained that after 10pm since there are no announcements, they have to rely on electronic display boards, which do not function at some stations.
In fact, beyond Kalyan station, no announcements of train arrivals are made after 8pm leaving commuters in a lurch.
The CR also plans to outsource the 24x7 announcement task. In addition to the railway employees, who currently make announcements on stations, around 60 people will be hired through private contractors for the job.
“We will tie up with private companies to make round-the-clock announcements at the 30 suburban stations,” said a senior CR official, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media.
The work contract will be for all stations, including those beyond Kalyan on both Pune and Nashik lines. The contract will also cover stations on the Harbour line up to Panvel and between Thane and Vashi of the Trans-Harbour corridor.
“We will train those hired by the private contractors for two weeks before they start making full-time announcements. Around 60 people would be required for this post,” said AK Singh, public relations officer, CR.
The CR also plans to introduce a train management system, wherein commuters would be informed of the next train's exact arrival time at a particular station, by March 2011.
This system is already in use on the western line.
But this proposal could not be passed because the display boards do not support this provision.
“We want to eliminate practical faults such as display of different timings on the clock. In some cases, the display board continues to show the expected time of arrival though the train has already pulled into the station,” said an official.