MITHIBAI COLLEGE ADOPTS VILE PARLE RAILWAY STATION
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MITHIBAI COLLEGE ADOPTS VILE PARLE RAILWAY STATION

vileparleIn first such partnership between a college and WR, students will sweep all six platforms, install garbage bins, display educational artwork.

Mithibai College has assumed responsibility of maintaining and beautifying Vile Parle station.

Beginning July 1, groups of 25 students will take turns every month to sweep each of its six platforms, install garbage bins and mount artwork on its walls. This is the first instance of an educational institution adopting a city railway station.

"Our students have been using this station for many years now and we would all like to help make it look better," said Dilip Kamath, principal of Mithibai College - the station is located 1.5 km from the educational institution.

The announcement that Vile Parle would have an educational institution as its caretaker came after Maharashtra governor Vidyasagar Rao urged colleges and schools to adopt and maintain public spaces, in April. "Given how it serves our students we thought it only natural that we assist the platform staff at the station," Kamath said. "The Western Railways (WR) were very supportive."

The college, which has over 12,500 students, will abide by this commitment for an indefinite period of time. "This isn't just a one-day event. This is a long term plan. The management will fund purchase of supplies for the cleanliness drive. Apart from sweeping the platforms, the students will set up dustbins and put up banners and pictures emphasising the importance of cleanliness," said Sunita Maral, a professor at Mithibai and one of the coordinators of the project. "Artwork by students will also be displayed at the platforms."

WR chief spokesperson Sharat Chandrayan said this project was indicative of ongoing efforts to involve locals in maintaining public infrastructure. "A station belongs to no one. But when local associations or colleges adopt a station, they know the local issues and problems that need to be addressed or taken care of," he told Mumbai Mirror. Stating that the resources to keep up the drive are very important, he added, "There are things like cleanliness or addition of passenger amenities that can be undertaken by such associations. Also, the fact that students are adopting the station is very important as youth represent the future."

Sources in WR said this was the first time that a college has taken up responsibility of a railway station. Vile Parle, which in July 2013 became the first station on the western line to get an escalator, is used by approximately one lakh commuters every day as per WR records.

It has six platforms (two harbour, two main line and two fast line; although fast trains do not halt at the station).

Next, Mithibai's students plan to adopt the skywalk that connects the station to SV Road. "We will soon seek permission from the BMC to begin work," said Kamath.

- Courtesy : By Arita Sarkar, Mumbai Mirror


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