Surprise! Railway passenger panel is here to see how commuters are being treated

Railway minister-appointed Passenger Amenities Committee visits Mumbai stations to take stock of facilities on offer, finds much need for improvement

Passenger Amenities Committee member Mohammad Irfan Ahmad (in blue jacket) inspects Kalyan station with railway officials on Wednesday
Passenger Amenities Committee member Mohammad Irfan Ahmad (in blue jacket) inspects Kalyan station with railway officials on Wednesday

Members of the railway minister-appointed Passenger Amenities Committee (PAC) have paid a surprise visit to Mumbai and will soon be meeting railway officials here.

Sources said they visited Kalyan and Bhayandar stations in the last two days and by this month-end will present their inspection report to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu as well as to the Railway Board. This follows Prabhu's proposal to revamp all stations falling under Grades A1 and A.

"We had received complaints from passenger associations regarding these two stations. Hence, we inspected these first, and both need a lot of improvement," said Mohammad Irfan Ahmad, member, PAC.

Taking stock
PAC members inspected Bhayander station on Tuesday and Kalyan station yesterday, checking the food stalls, ceiling fans, ATVMs, ticket windows and platforms.

"We found food stalls that had exceed the prescribed space of 10x6 feet on platforms. So we asked railway officials to levy a fine on the errant ones and measure the other stalls there as well," added Irfan.

CR officials said that at least five food stalls at Kalyan station have been fined for their unhygienic state, besides using excess space. Over Rs 50,000 has been recovered through fines.

Authorities are in the process of measuring the width and breadth of other food stalls there and take necessary action, if needed, which includes cancellation of their contract.

Changes needed
PAC members also found water leakage on platforms and inspected the drinking facility there. They have instructed the railways to ensure that the fans are regularly cleaned as Kalyan gets nearly a lakh commuters daily, while Bhayander sees nearly 50,000.

The members have asked the railways to ensure that ATVMs are in a working condition and ticket windows are added at the stations. They also want to speak to the local civic bodies and clear railway land of encroachment, apart from removing taxis and autorickshaws illegally parked on railway land.

Rs 50k
Fine collected from food stalls owners flouting norms

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