Mamata Banerjee's unkept list of promises

Published: Feb 24, 2010, 07:15 IST | Sanjeev Devasia |

Here's a reality check on all that we were promised in the last Railway Budget

Here's a reality check on all that we were promised in the last Railway Budget

>>Mamata Banerjee announced that 375 stations would be made Adarsh station, which would have basic facilities such as drinking water, toilets, catering services, waiting rooms and dormitories especially for women and better signage
Among the suburban stations, which figured in the list of Adarsh stations apart from CST, which is in the list of World class stations, is the Dockyard Road, Sewri, Andheri, Bandra, Belapur, Bhandup, Bhayandar, Borivali, Charni Road, Chembur, Churchgate, Dombivali, Ghatkopar, Goregaon, King's Circle, Kurla, Malad, Marine Lines, Matunga Road, Mira Road, Mulund, Mumbai Central (Local), Nahur, Panvel, Sanpada, Santacruz, Tilak Nagar, Turbhe, Ulhasnagar, Vashi, Virar and Dadar.
Reality check: Suburban commuters know the situation at most stations. The state of affairs in stations like Sewri cannot escape notice, but both Central and Western Railways claim that work on Adarsh stations is progressing.

Will things ever improve? Mumbai local train commuters will be hoping Mamata Banerjee has some good news for them. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

>>Introduction of air-conditioned double decker coaches for intercity travel
Reality check:
The only double decker train presently running between Mumbai and any other city is the Flying Rani, which runs between Mumbai Central and Surat.
No new double decker trains have been introduced from Mumbai since the budget. Railway officials claim that the RDSO is working on the design.

>>Long-distance trains to have doctors and infotainment
Reality check:
None of the trains originating from Mumbai are yet to have doctors on board, neither do they have any infotainment.

>>Women RPF squads exclusively for women passengers
Reality check:
Women RPF squads are yet to see the light of the day here. Women RPF personnel are posted at stations, but they are not put on escort duty in trains.

>>Facilities for handicapped persons such as more ramps, lifts, escalators and special coaches for physically challenged and aged persons:
Reality check:
Except for CST, which is slightly handicapped-friendly (it has a battery-operated cart for the handicapped), no other station has ramps, lifts and escalators for the handicapped.   

>>On board house-keeping scheme to cover 200 additional pair of trains.
Reality check:
Only five trains -- Punjab Mail, Konark Express, Mahanagari Express, Vidharbha Express and Osmanabad Express have on board housekeeping. Officials here claim that more trains will have such facilities.

>>Vishakapatnam-Secunderabad-Mumbai Super fast (Bi-weekly):
Reality check:
Yet to be launched.

>>Mumbai-Jodhpur: Bikaner Super fast (Bi-weekly)
Reality check:
Likely to start by March

Reality check:
Tri-weekly now, yet to be made daily

Did you know?
A railway budget separate from the general budget started in 1924 because the railways then formed more than a third of the budget

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