After receiving a barrage of criticism for covering the new violet-white trains with advertisements, the CR has now decided to allow advertisements only on a portion of these suburban trains.
They will now allow advertisements to be displayed only on the section below the window panel and vertically at the ends of each coach near the doors. “Vinyl coated advertisements will be displayed on the part below the window unlike the last time where the entire coach was covered with it,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity.
Ever since the new trains were introduced in November 2007, railway authorities were in a dilemma over draping them in advertisement – a money-spinner for the Railways.
It brought in substantial revenue – Rs 20 lakh per train per year. The CR has already painted old trains on these lines but faced severe criticism from commuters’ bodies when it tried to do the same with the new suburban trains last December.
The commuters said the advertisements from outside were ruining the look of the trains.
The look of the train and the violet-white colour combination was designed by the National Institute of Design before the trains were first introduced in November 2007. Besides, these trains were bought by the Railways under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project for which 50% funds came from World Bank and 25% by the Maharashtra Government.
Now, the CR hopes the part-advertisement display will not anger commuters. "We won't be touching the portion above the windows. The trains won't look ugly," said chief public relations officers Vidyadhar Malegaonkar.
The CR is expecting about Rs 4.50 crore from the display of advertisements on the 44 new trains.
It has also put up acrylic sheet advertisements and route maps inside the compartments for which they will be getting revenue of more than Rs 2 crore a year. Sources said these coatings and sheets could be easily removed using chemicals without harming the colour of the train.