Mumbai: AC local trains likely by Dec, cleaner railway stations too in store

  • Prajakta Chavan Rane, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 11, 2014 15:45 IST

With clean stations, airconditioned (AC) train services on the Churchgate-Borivli route, along with mobile ticketing service for suburban section, your railway commute is set to get smoother.

As part of the pilot project, two of the most crowded stations in the city — Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Mumbai Central Terminus — will maintain cleanliness on a par with five-star hotels. The project will be carried out at 48 other stations across the country, each of which will get Rs. 5-15crore for housekeeping.

“We are trying to engage corporates and hospitality firms to execute the project on a public-private-partnership (PPP) model. If it fails to work out, the railways will take up the project on its own,” said Devi Prasad Pande, railway board member, traffic, who visited the city on Wednesday.

Pande held meetings with 12 hospitality management firms namely Eureka Forbes, Hindustan Lever, Knight Frank, Cushman and Wakefield, Sanjay maintenance, BVG, Crystal, A to Zee, Checkmate services, All services and Northern facility to discuss the cleanliness material and equipment used at five-star hotels. The firms are likely to be roped in to make the railway stations make more spacious and user-friendly.

“We got information on the basics at the meeting. Using these details, we will review the cleanliness policy for maintaining all stations,” said a senior railway official, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The air-conditioned local train services on the Churchgate-Borivli route is expected by December or early next year.

Meanwhile, the railway board has asked the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) to develop a software which can be used by both android and nonandroid mobile phone users to book suburban tickets. The tenders to install more cash-operated automated ticket vending machine (ATVMs), too, are likely to be floated soon.

“The city will get around 100-125 user-friendly cash-operated ATVMs. Also, the mobile ticketing facility will reduce the hassles faced by commuters,” said Pande.

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