By Utsav Chaudhary:
Have you ever heard anyone appreciating the hospitality & sanitation of any railway station in India? The answer is a straight forward ‘NO’. This ‘NO’ has some scrutable reasons affiliated with it – as it is quite visible that the railway station of any town in India is one of the most chaotic, unhygienic & unorganized places ever.
The Indian Railways is one of the busiest modes of transport in the world, under a single management with an average daily ridership of a whooping 20 million and above, till now. With all these exalting facts, the railways has created a reputation for itself that would need an arduous attempt by the critiques to fiddle with.
The heart of any railway system resides in its stations and trains. In India, this heart is one of the weakest and disappointing parts that this body possesses. The stations here are an absolute mess. The problems that should be meticulously looked upon are either neglected or frivolously handled. The cardinal issue is the sanitation. The dirty water lingering around the platforms as well as the tracks and the always stinking toilets accompanied by the always loitering litter is not only unpleasant to the eyes but also acts as the breeding grounds for many prevalent diseases. Lapses in security have resulted in many terrorist activities in the recent past. The station is easily accessible to any person, which makes plotting of these heinous crimes easy. Lack of adequate medical facilities is also a major concern that prevails on the station. There are no arrangements for first aid, which is the utmost requirement at the time of any accident. The edible items that sold there seem adulterated, and those of unknown brands, and we often read or hear about these acts of contamination of food through the mass media around us, which has become a matter of concern now.
The never ending traffic jams around the station area or the black marketing of tickets that takes place right under the nose of the police has only opened up the dark truths of the under management and is a trouble for the tourists and the commuters.
India is also a famous tourist destination & most of the tourists prefer trains to travel around the country as it is something that connects this nation with their hearts. But lack of hospitality & sanitation, ironically which is their main quality, is only jeopardizing the health of the tourists & the Indian tourism industry. Even the physically handicapped have no proper facilities provided and their visit to a station is nothing but a trip that leaves them chagrinned.
The Indian railways surely has a big turnover & they should probably use some of it to improve the basic facilities provided at a station to make journey of the passenger a really contented one and his errand to the station an exhilarating one.
Have you had experiences at a railways station or in a train which you would like to share? Please do comment below.