Railway Minister Piyush Goyal wants to provide experience to train commuters with some “musical solace” while waiting in the chaos and commotion at the stations in the city, just like the airports.
It is another story that the soulful strains might get drowned in the din caused by the blaring station announcements, public interest messages and of course, the piercing sound of trains chugging in and out, as reported by Mumbai Mirror.
Goyal floated this idea at a review meeting with divisional railway managers of both Central and Western Railways, Mumbai division, on 28th September.
According to the minister, like airports, train commuters must get to hear soft, light music in the background at every station of the city.
“Soft and light music should play in the background at all stations which will be soothing to the ears,” he reportedly said at the meeting.
Sanjay Mishra, DRM of Western Railway, said that they would be taking help of experts to identify the spots where the music systems can be placed.
“The suggestion has just come, and we will try our best to implement it. We can play the music on FOBs, waiting areas, toilets and other such places that are less noisy in comparison to the platforms. We will rope in experts to identify such spots,” Mishra told Mirror.
While this could be a welcome step in providing a soothing environment at the stations, a pertinent question that remains is whether our infrastructure at these stations are in the best state and whether these should not be given priority over a superficial experience.
In July this year, a section of a bridge caved in at Andheri station in Mumbai following incessant rain, leaving five people injured, with two in critical condition. No casualties were reported from the collapse though. The Gokhale bridge on SV Road connects Andheri East and Andheri West stations and is used by thousands of commuters each day. A part of the bridge, which is on the southern end of Andheri station between platform numbers 7-8, crashed around 7.30 am, ripping off overhead wires which were left on the tracks.
Another video which went viral in 2016 demonstrates the disturbing visuals of women trying to make their way home in the Mumbai locals. Will soft music actually add any value to their daily commute is something we urge the minister to ponder upon.
While enhancing experiences is surely a welcome step, are they relevant without basic infrastructure not being given top priority?