Railway stations lack sanitation, not disabled-friendly: CAG

CAG(IANS) Railway stations in India are unclean, lack basic amenities such as water taps, urinals, shelters, and stalls of essential goods and medicines, and are not disabled-friendly, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has said in its latest report.

The CAG found that the Railway Ministry’s initiative for modernisation of stations through public-private-partnership (PPP) was still “at an initial stage” even though a dedicated agency(IRSDC) has been overseeing it for four years.

The Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) was formed in 2012 to oversee development/upgrade of railway stations across the country.

“The Railway Ministry’s initiative for modernisation of stations through PPP was at an initial stage even after four years…the IRSDC could not even complete the feasibility study at selected six stations till January 2016,” the CAG noted in its 13th report.

“This defeated the purpose of formation of a new entity (IRSDC),” it said.

The auditor noted that “cleanliness at stations was another area which continued to be a reason for passenger dissatisfaction”.

“Though this issue was highlighted in an earlier audit report, visible improvement was not noticed in this regard. During joint inspection, cleanliness issues were noticed at platforms, waiting halls, foot-over bridges, station walls etc,” the report said.

The CAG, in its recommendations, said that cleanliness at stations “needs to be addressed on priority basis by railway administration to bring visible difference”.

“The Railway Board also needs to regularly monitor improvement of cleanliness at stations,” it said.

The CAG has also recommended that station modernisation projects should be given due priority for early completion so that “objective of rendering utmost satisfaction to the travelling public and change in public perception is achieved”.

Medaram Jathara

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