MRVC plans to launch anti-smoking campaign

May 30, 2013, 07:14 IST | Shashank Rao

But railway officials say the planning body should focus on completing its MUTP projects rather than spreading awareness on public health issues

The railway planning authority Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is planning on launching an anti-smoking social initiative, even as many of its projects under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) need to be completed.

With the World No Smoking Day on May 31, the MRVC is looking at addressing smoking addiction. An official plan to kick off the campaign is yet to be finalised. According to officials from MRVC a state government-railways joint venture plans are afoot to implement various initiatives in a bid to spread messages against smoking and use of tobacco.

“We have prepared a few sample designs (for posters) which haven’t been approved yet, as the decision on its implementation is yet to be taken,” said an official. Sources claim that most of these designs are animated, and show the ills of smoking cigarette or chewing tobacco. They will be displayed at Mumbai’s suburban railway stations. These hoardings could also come up as advertisements in trains, announcements at platforms and other modes to spread the message.

“Nothing has been approved yet,” said P Ranjan, MRVC’s chief spokesperson. Officials added that the public service ads are being planned as per the directives of the state government, apart from their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. However, railway officials feel the exercise is futile. They claim that with the MUTP-I complete and important projects under MUTP’s second phase still hanging, the MRVC could do better than investing energies in these CSR initiatives.

For instance, the procurement and trial runs of local trains of Bombardier make have been delayed by months. The revised deadline is June-July this year, which was meant to be introduced much earlier. Apart from this, the addition of fifth and sixth lines between Thane and Diva is also pending for long now. Extension of the Harbour line beyond Andheri station is going on as well. 

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