Citizens want to adopt King's Circle railway station
If the common man has his way, King’s Circle station on the Harbour line of Mumbai’s suburban network might just become the first station to be adopted by the citizens of the city. Residents living in the vicinity of the station have submitted a proposal to the Central Railway (CR) to take care of the cleanliness, upkeep and basic maintenance of the railway station.
Gaurang Damani at King’s Circle railway station. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Gaurang Damani, a resident who stays near the King’s Circle railway station, told sunday mid-day, “We have submitted a letter to the railways, asking for permission to allow us to take responsibility of the cleanliness of the station.” As per the proposal, Damani, along with other residents, wants to ensure that the station is swept on a regular basis, among other things.
Sources in CR said that the local residents are not looking at attracting any advertising revenue or other earnings.
“We can surely study the proposal,” said Narendra Patil, chief PRO, CR. King’s Circle station is built on an elevated structure and has entrance and exit points near Gandhi Market on the Eastern Express highway and another towards SIES school. It connects Sion and Dadar stations by road, and joins the Western Railway at Mahim station.
Normally, a railway station gets a minimum of R5,000 per month for its upkeep and cleanliness.
Railways’ big plans
Meanwhile, in a bid to improve the condition of 50 railway stations across India, including Mumbai Central and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in the city, the Railway Board officials recently met private entities to discuss their maintenance on a public-private-partnership basis.
The Indian Railways plan to spend anywhere between R5 crore to R15 crore per station to bring about drastic improvement in the condition of the stations. Private contractors are required for cleaning station premises, including railway tracks, toilets, rest rooms, waiting rooms, booking areas and car parks. A couple of years ago, the CR authorities had sought help from private companies and corporates to adopt railway stations against advertising rights. However, the plan did not take off.