Monday, January 31, 2005

Railways announce arrival of ‘Parivartana’ at City

Rlys announce arrival of ‘Parivartana’ at City

‘Parivartana’ campaign undertaken by the South Western Railways holds the promise of keeping railway stations clean.

Deccan Herald

‘Ambience’ is not a word one would usually associate with a railway station, but that is exactly what the South Western Railways has in mind with its campaign ‘Parivartana’, which was flagged off in the City on Sunday.

So what’s new. Cleanliness campaigns, as well as the customer relation ones, have come in the news, only to slide off everyone’s radar.

However, explains Mr T N Perti, General Manager of the South Western Railways, who flagged off the campaign, this time it is different indeed. For one, it is not a one-off cleanliness drive.

Rather, it is an ongoing process which encompasses infrastructure, customer services (already seen in the form of ‘139’, the soon-to-be-introduced enquiry hotline, an increased number of booking counters and so on); and cleanliness.

Cops and corps
Now what is interesting about the cleanliness angle is that it will involve diverse groups. There is the NCC, the senior citizens’ forum, the Bharat Scouts and Guides, an orphanage and an NGO. Their efforts at promoting cleanliness will complement those of a ‘core group’, comprising the Government Railway Police (GRP), the Railway Police Force (RPF) and ticket inspecation officers.

While this core group will work round the clock, the rest will take turns in going around the station to ensure people keep the premises tidy. The presence of the ticketing officers is significant, since they are the only ones who have the authority to impose penalties. But the penalties will only be a last resort, explains Mr Perti. Their aim, he says, is “to educate, rather than deter”. And for that, he says, the “informal authority” in the guise of senior citizens, or young men and women, could make a bigger difference than the fear of penalties.

Joined effort
All three wings of the NCC will be involved in the process. Subedar Major Sukhdev Raj estimates that there will be between 75 to 90 of them who will take turns at the job. The senior citizens hail from the ‘Federation of senior citizens’ forum of Karnataka’.

The biggest hurdle will no doubt be that most of the visitors are hardly regulars. As one official explains, it is not like a bank or an educational institution, where the same set of people frequent the premises.

“A lot of educated people who come to the stations might think twice before littering, but, as for the others..” he puts two fingers to his lips to imitate someone spitting out betel juice.

If ‘Parivartana’ doesn’t go off the rails, the red stains on the walls might yet become a distant memory.


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