A few hours before his official visit to Churchgate station for the inauguration of a suburban local train service, railways minister PK Bansal conducted a surprise check to review the main concourse and the platforms at the station.
Bansal, residing at the railways guest house nearby, visited the station while returning from his morning walk around 6am. Railway police sources said that the minister, accompanied by his two bodyguards, enquired about the cleanliness and maintenance of the heritage building and asked about the security of railway passengers. “Overall, he was happy with everything,” said a senior official.
During his official visit, Bansal explored the Western Railways exhibition at Churchgate and reviewed the working of train management system (TMS) at Mumbai Central and the railway workshop at Parel.
Visiting the city for the first time since taking charge of the railway ministry, Bansal had railway and security officials on their toes as he spent a significant part of his day-and-a-half long trip inspecting railway facilities and interacting with passengers.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bansal visited CST and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus where he conducted inspections similar to the one at Churchgate station. The food court, the passengers reservation counter (PRS) and the gents toilet at Churchgate station were all inspected by the minister, an official said. He then travelled on a harbour line local where he interacted with passengers and the motorman.
According to the official, while awaiting the chief minister’s arrival for the LTT inauguration function, Bansal also scrutinised the premises of the station. He entered the Duranto Express, which was ready for departure and checked the linen, curtains and the seats on the train. He also enquired about the catering and other services with the passengers on-board.
While the inspection caught officials off-guard, Bansal is known to conduct such surprise inspections. An official said that he had performed similar checks during his visit to Shirdi at the beginning of this month.