Pune divisional railway manager says Deccan Queen chain-pulling act anti-national
Railways is a national resource and many people depend on it completely for their travel. Calling the act anti national is justified as it is a clear disruption of public services and results in the loss of productivity of many, he said.pune Updated: Jul 15, 2017 16:18 IST
The Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) (Pune division), Bhaktiar K Dadabhoy, is from the Indian Railway Traffic Service of the 1986 batch. Though he has majorly worked for the Western Railway, he has also held major positions including the chief commercial manager (passenger services), chief commercial manager (passenger marketing) and chief traffic manager on the Western Railway as well as South Central Railway. Before being appointed as the Pune DRM, Dadabhoy had worked as the chairman of the railway recruitment board. Prachi Bari had a conversation with him about the various issues faced by the Pune railway division including the Deccan Queen chain pulling incident that happened recently.
Responding to the Deccan Queen chain pulling incident, you had said that the act was anti-national. Why do you think so?
Railways is a national resource and many people depend on it completely for their travel. Calling the act anti national is justified as it is a clear disruption of public services and results in the loss of productivity of many. Such stringent actions need not be taken to resolve the matters. Also, please note that Deccan Queen is not a Pune division train and is run by the Mumbai division. The Pune division only partly maintains it. There are some plans in the offing to convert Deccan Queen to the likes of the Shatabadi express, but these decisions solely lie with the Mumbai officials.
What changes did you perceive when you joined the Pune division?
I joined Pune Division in August 2015 and it has been almost two years now. In these two years, I have made small incremental changes and also structural changes which had not been done in last 50 to 60 years in Pune. I have relocated the rickshaw stand and opened a brand new ramp, cutting out the congestion in front of the station. It used to be chaos, but now, it works like how an ideal station should. We have also developed a second entry from the Raja Bahadur Mills road to further reduce congestion. There is ample parking for both four wheelers and two wheelers as well as a rickshaw stand.
What else can we see as a change in the Pune Station?
The major sea of change for the station is in its cleanliness. This station was touted to be the dirtiest of stations, but that has changed. The Quality Control of India, an independent body commissioned by the Railways, placed Pune in the ninth position in India amongst the A one category. By percolating the idea of cleanliness within the staff, we have achieved tangible results. Beautification has also been one of the biggest changes within the premises of the station. In collaboration with the state forest department, platform number one now has the largest painted wall, which is 300 x 400 metres long, from the Solapur side of the station. These paintings depict wildlife found in Maharashtra. The VIP room also boasts of the wildlife painting. The wall outside platform number six depicts the cultural express which was done by an NGO called Vanarsena with the help of the public. We also held a painting workshop on platform number one where many well known artists participated with the idea to promote Railways, not only for transportation, but also as a potential cultural hub. We have also planted a large number of trees within the railway premises. We are also keenly following the digitisation drive and now have cashless transactions for booking tickets along with Miraj and Kolhapur.
What kind of steps have you taken for the security of passengers?
We have set up two squads, Tejas and Jagte Raho. These squads are made up of four people, two ticket checkers and two Railway police force members in civilian clothes, who conduct daily checks for ticketless travellers. They are also undertaking a programme against spitting in public places. The night squad, Jaagte Raho, also has two officers on duty every night to catch miscreants and we have had a major crackdown on beggars and homeless who squat on the stations.
What are your future projects for the division?
I have two big projects in mind. One is the Pune yard remodelling which has been sanctioned at 37 crores, where all the platforms will be renovated to accommodate 26 length coaches. They will also have a universal receipt, and the dispatch of trains and speed restrictions will cease. This will bring a 30 per cent increase in the efficiency of railways, but this project will take a lot of time and effort. The other personal initiative that I’m planning to undertake is the mini coaching terminal at Hadapsar which has been sanctioned at Rs 17 crores. This terminal will help a lot in increasing the capacity of trains.