What movies like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Queen forget to point out in the travel diaries of the lead role is that travel isn’t always pretty nor exciting. What really helps shape it is the terminal spots of the journey: the “points” A and B: they are the first impression and the last memory of the “voyage”.
After PM Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in October 2014 with his Quidditch brromstick, the Indian Railways – a.k.a. the World’s Largest Employer – launched its own campaign: the Swachh Bharat Swachh Rail Abhiyan.
Ever since, we have been threatened of price hikes and cleaner facilities… both equally daunting to the regular Indian commuter. But good guy IRCTC is nice: it asked these very commuters what they think about the condition of 407 railway stations across the country – in terms of cleanliness, so that they could know where the efforts must be channelized.
Here’s what they found out…
Cleanest Stations of India.
Small debrief: the categories A and A1 are classified according to the traffic that goes through the stations: both in terms of passengers and trains. A1 being the more crowded.
Surat, Gujarat: Topper of the A1 category. You gotta give it to Modi… though he is now in charge of the entire country, his root region showcases why he was The Chosen One. Gujarat seems to be leading the country in most aspects; even if it’s not the best, it’s one among the top in every good category.
Beas, Punjab: Topper of the A Category. For all those who stereotype Punjabis as loud and misbehaved, you could maybe learn a thing or two about cleanliness.
Mumbai Central Railway Station, Maharashtra: From the category A1, this station has often been in the list of India’s favorite stations. It is the busiest railway network of the country and is also a UNESCO Heritage site. Not surprising, it looks like India’s Grand Central Station – if we had one, i.e…
Vasco Da Gama Railway Station, Goa: Category A. All things in Goa allure you in for a vacation, that is why it is the vacation hot spot of India. I personally like this station, the rains make it sort of self maintained by washing away all that tourist dirt!
Rajkot, Gujarat: Category A1. It is noteworthy that many of the cleanest stations are from the state of Dhokla and Thepla. These people know how to make the food and then NOT throw it out the train windows!
Dirtiest Stations of India.
Sometimes, all that glitters isn’t gold. If cities like Pune can’t even keep their transit spots clean, how will they make a first good impression?
Pune Railway Station, Maharashtra: The only station in the A1 category which got a Level 5 rating (poorest by survey standards). For a city which ranks pretty high in the list of Places-I-Want-To-Live-In, this status of Pune Train Station was a surprise.
Ghaziabad Railway Junction, Uttar Pradesh: From Category A, this station of U.P. is a moderate traffic zone. However, it’s not maintained very well on the cleanliness standards.
Madhubani Railway Station, Bihar: Category A. You may have never heardof it, but it exists. Personally, I have a completely different problem with this station besides sanitation: the fact that the platform is too low for safety bothers me more. However, the public DOES claim it to be the dirtiest railway station.
So that was the list of the cleanest and dirtiest Railway Stations of India. It covered all 16 zones, and represents the collective score of more than 1.3 lakh passengers.
The masses aren’t always correct, but since it is a democracy, public opinion matters. If you ask me personally though, I would score these places differently (For example, Pune isn’t the dirtiest platform a train could stop at, and there are many stations on the list cleaner than Beas). Too bad I wasn’t present at any of these locations when the survey team was out scouting.
You can see the official report of the survey – as released by the Railway Ministry – here.
Let us know what you think in the comment section below!