Panel seeks amenities for all railway stations

A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways has asked the ministry to provide all passenger amenities to all stations on priority basis and in a time-bound manner.

At present, the railways have categorised stations into seven (A1 and A to F) on the basis of annual passenger earnings from these stations.

According to the parliamentary committee, 77 per cent of stations fall under the E and F categories.

“They receive least amount of passenger amenities even though they are used by a larger number of people,” says Standing Committee in its report on passenger amenities tabled this week.

The Committee, thus, have recommended that at least basic facilities like platform shelter, proper seating toilets, lighting, fans, Foot Over Bridges, waiting hall, water coolers, and public address system be made available to E and F grade stations on a priority basis and in a time-bound manner.”

The parliamentary panel has asked the railways to change the criteria for categorisation and also take into account other factors like history, culture, geographical location and educational, industrial and agricultural importance.

The parliamentary panel has also asked the ministry to create a nodal department for “providing passenger amenities to stations and on-board to ensure a faster and more efficient delivery mechanism.”