New Delhi, September 12: In a move that may revamp the basic amenities for passengers at railway stations the Ministry of Railways has decided to rope in private players for developing and maintenance of basic amenities at railways stations. In this regard, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal launched a web portal 'Rail Sahyog'.
Rail Sahyog is a platform for the corporates and PSUs to contribute to the creation of amenities at railway stations through corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. Indian Railways has been taking various initiatives for upgrading its infrastructure, technology, hygiene among a host of other things for an enhanced passenger experience.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the “Rail Sahyog” portal is an example of changing times & speedy execution of projects in Railways. The salient feature of this portal is its simplicity & transparency. This portal will provide an opportunity for Industry, Companies, and Associations to collaborate with Railways. This portal will not only be beneficial for passengers but also for the neighborhood of Railway vicinity.”
Piyush Goyal further added that the portal has been envisaged as a platform for all including individuals as also private & public organization to contribute towards CSR activities in association with Indian Railways.
The activities identified to be funded through CSR include the construction of toilets in circulating areas of all stations with the provision of low-cost sanitary pad vending machine. The incinerator would be added in female toilets and a condom vending machine in male toilets.
Providing free Wi-Fi at stations by setting up hotspots is another activity to be funded through CSR. The approximate cost of the revamp per station is Rs 10.30- 12.30 lakh. Provision of benches at station platforms as a facility for senior citizens and disabled has also been added to the list, the approximate cost for each set varies from Rs 17,500 to Rs 47,500. The installation of bottle crushing machines at 2,175 major stations for ensuring environmental sustainability is another activity. The empty plastic bottles discarded by the railway passengers would be crushed in these machines to manage plastic pollution. The cost for this would be around Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh.
Lastly, dustbins would be installed at all stations using CSR funds, as a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which would help prevent littering in the station premises. Separate dustbins for both wet and dry garbage will be provided in the circulating area of stations and platforms, whose approximate cost would be Rs 4,500.