Mumbai: The city has a lot to catch up where cleanliness on the platforms is concerned with eight of its main stations ranking way below others.
In a nationwide survey, in fact a Third Party Audit Report on Station Cleanliness, released by the Ministry of Railways, Beas Station in Punjab tops the list of 407 stations with a total score of 874, followed by Khammam of Telengana and Ahmednagar in Maharashtra.
Vishakhapatnam emerged as the winner in Cleanliness Index by securing 1st position in A1 category.
Pune station of Central Railway was ranked 9th in the 10 cleanest A1 category stations. Stations designated as A1 category contribute the most to the railways through passenger revenue.
In the overall ranking, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), among the busiest stations in the country, stood at 153 whilst other equally busy stations such as Lokmanya Tilak Terminus was ranked 278, Kalyan Junction 302 and Dadar 330. Bandra Terminus was an exception in the city as it rose to 31 from an overall rank of 292 in 2016.
Mumbai Central stood at 86 whereas other cities in Maharashtra were not so bad — Badnera 11, Amravati at 22, Wardha 39 and Lonavla 47, though Nagpur was far below at 237.
Kerala, too, fared badly — Palakkad Junction 222, Thrissur 223, Trivandrum Central 334 and Ernakulam stood at 359.
Delhi Junction’s overall rank was 75, Bengaluru 18, Hyderabad 35, Ahmedabad 3, Goa 55 and Chennai Egmore 288.
The survey was conducted through interviews with respondents on the questionnaire on cleanliness indicators which was done face-to-face by survey teams by visiting each of the 407 stations across 16 zonal railways. Every passenger was asked to rate the cleanliness of stations objectively on 40 different cleanliness parameters.
These included whether there were an adequate number of dustbins on the platform, cleanliness in the toilets, waiting rooms and water booths, whether the passenger noticed stagnant water on the platform and saw rats, cockroaches, flies and mosquitos and if the passenger had encountered any foul smell. The passenger was also asked if she/he was aware of penalties on offences relating to spitting or littering and finally to rate overall satisfaction with the upkeep of the station.
Union Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu, while releasing the report and the Swachh Rail Portal on Wednesday, said, “This index instils competitive spirit among the stations. The biggest challenge for cleanliness at the platforms is visitors along with the passengers. Even the toilets are used by large number of visitors who are not railway travellers.”
He said the focus was on platform, coach, toilet and track cleanliness and that the railways have introduced Clean My Coach services which is getting an overwhelming response. Also, four green corridors have been marked which are free from discharge of human waste.
The minister said that stations like Guwahati, Varanasi, Mughalsarai and Hazrat Nizamuddin have shown tremendous improvements. A lot of NGOs and student groups have come forward to clean and beautify their stations, he added.