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4 shoeshine boys hauled up over Rs 2

Action initiated after Central Railway authorities received myriad complaints from the commuters about being overcharged on platforms

The next time you get your shoes polished at any of the stations on the Central line, make sure you pay the shoeshine boy as per rates specified on his kit.

In a crackdown initiated by the Central Railway (CR) authorities against the shoeshine boys, four were reprimanded and penalised for overcharging customers. The action was taken after the authorities received a slew of complaints from commuters about them being fleeced by the shoeshine boys.


Unofficial hike: Of late, shoeshine boys on the Central line have been
charging commuters as per the revised rates sanctioned to their
counterparts on the Western line. file pic


Unofficial hike
As per charges prescribed by CR for Mumbai division, the shoeshine boys are supposed to charge Rs 4 and Rs 5 for regular and cream polish, respectively. However, according to the complaints received by the authorities, the complainants were charged Rs 5 and Rs 7, depending on the kind of polish they requested for.

Commuter speaks
"The amount displayed on their kits read Rs 4 and Rs 5. But when people gave the said amount, the shoeshine boys started arguing with the commuters and demanded more money," said Anil Galgali, a commuter-activist, who has written a letter to the railway administration to clear the confusion over the hiked charges. Such malpractices were reported from stations including Mulund, Ghatkopar, Dadar and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST).

When the CR officials decided to conduct an enquiry into the matter, to their astonishment, they discovered that the shoeshine boys were charging commuters as per the revised rates sanctioned to their counterparts on the Western line. Following their discovery, the CR authorities initiated a crackdown. "We caught four shoeshine boys red-handed," said a senior CR official, requesting anonymity.

Of the four, three were from Ghatkopar, while one was nabbed at CST, which is also the CR's headquarters. The authorities further stated that they will soon take a decision on the future course of action, and will contemplate on whether an official hike is required or not.

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