PUNE: Passengers at the Pune railway station can expect cleaner platforms, aprons and premises, as the railway administration has outsourced daily cleaning and maintenance activities to a private firm. A well-trained cleaning staff of about 120 is expected to work round-the-clock in three shifts. High-quality equipment, such as sweepers and flippers, has been made available at the station, a railway official said.
The railway administration has faced a lot of criticism in the last few months because of unclean station premises, filthy atmosphere and stinking platforms. Despite repeated complaints, the administration had failed to maintain high cleanliness standards. "Cleaning work has now been allotted to a new contractor. With this, we hope that the number of complaints regarding unclean premises comes down," the official said.
The official added that railway authorities have been asked to keep daily updates on whether the cleaning work meets the standards. The on-duty staff is expected to work round-the-clock, which means cleaning will also be done at night. Authorities will carry out surprise checks of the station and the administration will also seek feedback from passengers, if required.
Ramesh Kachi, a frequent train commuter, said steps to improve cleanliness of the premises were long necessary . "Barring platform number one, the administration has failed to maintain all platforms. Aprons are always unclean, and there is a stink all over the station ," he said.
Pune-Mumbai Railway Pravasi Sangh vice-president Mangilal Solanki said, "With more than one lakh passengers and 150 trains departing from the station every day, a separate team is needed to maintain hygiene and cleanliness on the premises. The administration should allocate additional funds for the daily maintenance work."
Pune railway division public relations officer Y K Singh said passengers should also contribute to keep the premises clean by not throwing bottles, plastic bags and trash on the tracks and platforms.