Railway stations in a higher category are eligible for better facilities and infrastructure
The Indian Railways has changed how it categories train stations from a system based only on yearly earnings from passengers to include the number of people visiting a station -- meaning the railways will also consider annual footfall and not just how much money a station rakes in.
A station that gets tagged under a higher category has a good chance of getting better facilities and infrastructure such as foot overbridge, escalators and digital chart displays.
"Earlier, the number of stations with higher footfall could not be covered under the higher category of station, which led to these being eligible only for lower-level amenities," a senior railway official told news agency Press Trust of India.
"In the new system, the footfall volume has also been given equal weightage and is taken into account as criteria for categorisation of stations," said the official who asked not to be named.
The new categorisation scheme will be effective for five years till fiscal 2023, and will cover stations where annual footfall is at least 1 lakh and revenue Rs 5 lakh.
Earlier, annual passenger earnings or the money that a railway station earns per user was the only criteria for deciding whether a station should stay in the same category or get an upgrade. They were grouped into seven categories -- A-1, A, B, C, D, E and F.
The new method which measures football at railway stations has been divided into three groups -- non-suburban, suburban, and halt.
Railway stations in Kalyan, Panvel, Tambaram and Thane have a higher chance of getting better facilities now after being tagged under a better category, buoyed by the heft of very high football and not just earning per passenger.
There are 8,613 railway stations under the new scheme, the official said. Of them, 5,976 are non-suburban railway station, 484 suburban one and 2,153 halts.With inputs from PTI