If the Central Railway (CR) is to be believed, you may soon see relatively cleaner railway station with not only the indicators, but also the fans and lights working.
The railways has finally realised it needs to, quite literally, clean up its act. For this, the funds allotted to station managers at CR stations have been increased.
From the current Rs 5,000, station managers handling important stations will now get Rs 25,000 to ensure proper maintenance of railway infrastructure, be it cleaning dirty toilets or levelling platforms. The slab for stationmasters at smaller stations has been increased to Rs 10,000.
The stationmanagers would be given an imprest fund (a certain amount given as advance) to carry out the repairs of platforms, sweeping and cleaning, and overall maintenance of the station’s infrastructure. It will be replenished once the sum is over.
“We can only hope that now the toilets at railway stations and the cobwebs at ticket counters are cleaned more often,” said Madhu Kotian, member of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.
With complaints of poor maintenance pouring in, station masters claim they don’t have enough funds to even carry out even small repairs.
“Also, for any kind of work that needs to be undertaken, we have to get permission from the railways higher-ups. Because of the delay there are frequent complaints of ill-kept stations,” said a stationmaster on condition of anonymity.
The railway authorities have increased the imprest amount so that small and petty works can be taken care of at the station master’s level.
However, the amount would be given to stations where a private contractor has not been appointed,” said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, CR.
The CR has identified stations like Kurla, Byculla, Thane, and Kalyan to introduce the system. The contracts given to private parties for cleaning Byculla and Kalyan stations would terminate by the time the imprest fund are made available.