Finding deficiencies in passenger amenities, Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Tuesday said cleanliness is an issue at stations and needs to be addressed in an effective way.
“Cleanliness at stations which continued to be a reason for passenger dissatisfaction. During a joint inspection, cleanliness issues were noticed at platforms, waiting halls, station walls and foot over-bridges,” CAG in its latest report said.
It said cleanliness is an issue which needs to be addressed on priority by railways to bring visible difference.
“Railway Board also needs to regularly monitor improvements of cleanliness at stations,” the audit tabled in Parliament said. Inadequacies were noticed even in provision of water taps, platforms in appropriate level, foot over-bridges, platform shelters, train indicator system, provisions of urinals at the selected stations were found by it.
It has also found that contrary to Railway Board’s directives, inadequacies in provision of desirable amenities such as pay and use toilets, separate entry and exit gates, stall for essential and medicines have also been noticed.
Facilities to be provided for physically challenged passengers at stations were also found inadequate. Recommending for strengthening the monitoring mechanism, CAG has said that railways need to improve and strengthen their monitoring mechanism so that the fund alloted for passenger amenities are fully utilised to give maximum benefit to the passengers by providing adequate facilities at stations.
It has observed that considering the continuous increase in passenger traffic, adequate facilities need to be provided at stations for passengers’ safety and comfort. Besides upgradation of these facilities from time to time and proper maintenance of facilities created are also required.
CAG said even after years of formation of the Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) for development of stations, it could not even complete feasibility study at selected stations till date (January 2016). This has defeated the purpose of the formation of the IRSDC, it said.
Audit also observed delay of passenger amenity works which resulted in non-provision of intended benefits to passengers.
“Delays were mainly due to non-availability of funds, non-availability of clear site and traffic blocks and procedural delays in approval and tendering process,” it said.
CAG also observed though zonal railways received 373 LHB passenger coaches between August 2012 to November 2015 of these 150 coaches were not inducted in service mainly for want of clearance from Commissioner Railway Safety and still remain idle.
It has observed 168 coaches were inducted into service belatedly and 35 inducted without obtaining clearances from CRS and only 20 coaches were inducted within 30 days of receipt. Non-utilization delayed the utilization of these coaches and had resulted in blocking up of funds Rs 736.60 crore invested on these and also loss of earning capacity of Rs 80.61 crore.