RTIwala Trending Sachin Tendulkar: Cricketing legend and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar has sanctioned 2 crores from his Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund for revamping Mumbai’s railway foot overbridges (FOB). Tendulkar’s initiative comes after the stampede on the Elphinstone Road railway station’s FOB claimed 23 lives on September 29. It is said that he was deeply moved by Elphinstone Road station stampede deaths. He has sanctioned the amount in the capacity of a Rajya Sabha member.
It is to be noted that every year, MPs are allotted 5 crores under the MPLADS. The allotment is primarily to take up development projects in their respective constituencies. The fund has been increased over time, starting with ₹5 lakh in 1993-94 to the present 5 crores
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Sachin Does It Again
In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Tendulkar said he is requesting the Mumbai Suburban District Collector to authorize ₹2 crore for construction work on the FOBs. He requested 1 crore each is allotted to the Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR) from his MPLADS fund “towards immediate revamp and construction of FOBs in as many high densities, single bridge stations on the Western, Central (Main) and Central (Harbour) lines.”
The letter, dated October 6, said, “The recent incident at the Elphinstone Road station on Western Railway where innocent lives were lost in a stampede was devastating. I am moved to offer immediate support for the improvement of services for our Mumbaikars. For the families of those affected, it is not a happy Diwali in any sense. We must do all we can as responsible citizens to ensure this never happens again on any network in India.”
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What Lies Ahead of Sachin?
Sachin said he has asked the Railway Ministry, Railway Board, and zonal heads to study the possibility of creating two separate independent zones for suburban services. This is a request that has been made by several experts, passenger and civil society groups. Sachin thinks there is merit in this request as it will bring dedicated manpower, funds and focus on the suburban network which ferries millions every single day.
It would be interesting to see what happens ahead. The Elphinstone Road railway station’s FOB claimed 23 lives on September 29 which was just before the festivities. Railway forms the heart of Mumbai and Mumbaikars. The sanction by Sachin is definitely a contribution to Mumbaikars.
In the meanwhile, we will wait to see if the opposition wants to bowl a googly on it.
(Inputs by Gehna Kundra)