Mumbai : One of the thrust areas in this year’s railway budget is cleanliness. However, anyone travelling by Indian railways will tell you that there is a yawning gap between promise and reality.
One wonders what the additional 40 per cent budgetary provision for cleanliness will achieve when the existing budget itself is not utilised fully. Despite several measure taken and funds allocated to keep the culverts clean, flooding is a common occurrence in monsoons. An RTI filed by activist Anil Galgali showed that the railways are yet to use nearly 40 per cent of the money (Rs 9 cr) given by the BMC to clean the drains. Similarly, catering is another thrust area in the budget. The travelling public though is cynical.
Promise: On-call orders for pre-cooked branded products.
Reality: Food is cold and inedible.
Promise: Third-party agency inspection of food.
Reality: They don’t even have a complaint book.
Promise: Automatic closing of doors before the trains move
Reality: Commuters are forced to hang on footboards. If doors are shut automatically, many will be left behind.
Promise: 40 % more budget for cleanliness.
Reality: Does it seem that even one paisa is used?
Promise: Sanitation at 50 major stations to be outsourced.
Reality: Toilets at termini such as Mumbai Central are unusable despite a user charge of Rs 5.
Promise: CCTV to monitor cleaning work.
Reality: CCTV cameras are so grainy that they cannot be used even for security as the Preeti Rathi case showed
Promise: Onboard housekeeping service to be extended
Reality: First get rid of the rats and cockroaches