MUMBAI: Volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) recently carried four surveys of major railway stations in the town of Navi Mumbai, including halts like Vashi, Panvel, Belapur, Nerul and Airoli.
They found that the Railways only handles ticketing. Other important rail operations and track maintenance are managed by CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra), which in turn, has sub-contracted these utilities to private parties.
AAP district convener Ravi Srivastava alleged negligence on part of these contractors. He said that Navi Mumbai’s enviably beautiful stations, which even hosted film shoots not too long ago, have now turned into dirty, dilapidated structures. AAP activists met the managing director of CIDCO, Sanjay Bhatia on Tuesday and highlighted the problems faced by commuters. Bhatia promptly summoned his staff and issued certain directives.
In a rare gesture he said that contractors’ bills would be cleared only after AAP volunteers attested to the work having being done properly.
Liquor outlets and shops selling gutkha, pan-bidi and cigarettes would be closed. Encroachments would be removed. At least one room at all stations will be converted into a first-aid care centre. CIDCO doctors would monitor this and arrange first aid boxes.
Rooms at Khandeshwar station that have been occupied by private personnel will be evacuated. CIDCO promised to carry out structural maintenance and repairs where needed.
Bhatia said clean washrooms and water coolers would be provided at all railway stations in the satellite town.