The public announcement system of both Central and Western Railways is now being used as a platform for playing advertisements and promoting brands.
The Western and Central Railways played soundtrack of the Akshay Kumar-starrer reality show with 13 women contestants Khatron Ke Khiladi 2.
The one-day promotion was made at selected important stations on both the routes.
“We played this jingle as a revenue generating activity for a day,” said S Mudgerikar, chief PRO of Central Railway.
They charged Rs 49,500 for playing the jingle for 1-minute every hour for the entire day.
However, at times the jingle interrupted the announcement of trains.
Prashant S, a commuter said, “There was an announcement of fast train coming on a different platform, when suddenly I heard this jingle promoting Khatron Ke Khiladi.” Yet, officials from both CR and WR said that they wouldn’t compromise the basic role of a Public Information System through announcements.
“The basic duty of public announcement system wouldn’t be compromised at any cost. We will be checking its viability before making it as source of generating revenue,” said S C Gupta, Chief PRO of Western Railway. The WR charged around Rs 25000 for this promotion.
Both the railways will also be querying people at the stations and taking their views on this promotion campaign whether or not this would create problems especially during peak hours.
Both CR and WR are already playing the famous ‘Rail ki patri paar na kare’ jingle, which many hear, everyday. This jingle basically asks people not to cross rail tracks.
Shailendra Kamble, pravaasi adhikaar andolan samiti said, “They shouldn’t play advertisements during peak hours. People need accurate information about the arrival of train and 1 minute is a long time to keep commuters guessing about the schedule of train.”