Hundreds of people travel to Mumbai via train everyday looking for better fortunes, but once inside a congested suburban local train, they can’t seem to find the right station.
With no route maps of railway stations inside the coaches, newcomers unfamiliar with the local train routes often end up lost and confused.
Even though announcements are made inside a majority of local trains that specify the next station in English, Marathi and Hindi, commuters have complained that the system isn’t prevalent in all the local trains running on the Central Railway (CR). The route maps that were earlier present above the compartment doors have been removed for over a year.
Sources in CR said that these route maps will have advertisements printed next to them, which wouldn’t promote or have references to smoking, alcohol, vulgarity and political parties. “In all, 7,018 route map transfers will be displayed inside coaches of 88 local trains at a cost of around Rs 23 lakh,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity.
The reason behind the removal of these route maps was the rampant illegal posters and advertisements displayed on the walls of local trains. Officials claimed that private contractors complained about route maps being covered with illegal stickers, and so they backed out.
Even now, there are posters displaying contact numbers of people offering job recruitment and spiritual ‘doctors’ solving personal and professional problems.
Even though the railway police claim to strike every now and then on these frauds, the number of illegally pasted stickers remain constant. “We will be ensuring that these illegal stickers and posters don’t cover the route maps,” said another official.
The route maps will be displayed in Marathi, Hindi and English languages and pasted above all the doors inside a coach.
The number of local trains on the Central line that will get the route maps