New Delhi: Indian Railways is eying the huge corporate social responsibility funds available with the government’s public sector units (PSUs) to upgrade and modernize passenger amenities at platforms.
To begin with, the state-run transporter will sign MoUs with railway PSUs for taking up works to ensure better facilities for travellers using their CSR funds at 10 stations during the ongoing 15-days customer facilitation drive that started on May 26.
The railways’ mega plan aims to cover more stations by involving other government PSUs such as NTPC.
Five railway PSUs – CONCOR, IRCTC, IRCON, RITES and RVNL – will be assigned two stations each from among Mumbai CST, Howrah, New Delhi, Guwahati, Patna, Varanasi, Vadodara, Chennai, Agra and Bengaluru to bring about visible improvement in passenger amenities using funds available under their CSR schemes.
Additional member, railway board, Mohd Jamshed said, “The five PSUs will be pitched against each other as to who has provided better passenger amenities at stations. The work would be visible to all. This will promote healthy competition among them. At a later stage, we plan to engage other government PSUs such as NTPC to improve passenger facilities at stations.”
While the MoUs will clearly spell out the kind of amenities each PSU can provide, the long list of passenger facilities to be provided at stations includes installing reverse osmosis (RO) plants for safe drinking water, putting up water coolers, installing lifts and escalators and making available carts for old and differently-abled passengers.
“The PSUs can take up works for renovation of toilets in waiting halls, retiring rooms and dormitory or building new ones. They can provide electronic boards and reflective signages at platforms as also steel dustbins. They can also work for improving circulating area at stations,” an official said.
The MoUs will have one-year, two-year and five-year targets.
Faced with the funds crunch, railways has also been urging private companies to pitch in with money from their CSR schemes for improvement of railway stations.