New Delhi: Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara - all in Gujarat - are among the 10 cleanest railway stations in India, according to a survey released by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu here on Thursday.
While Surat and Rajkot came out first and second respectively among the category AI railway stations, i.e. those that have Rs.60 crore annual earnings, Vadodara was 8th in the ranking.
The survey was conducted in line with the announcement made in the railway budget 2016-17. It was commissioned by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and carried out by TNS India Pvt Ltd, official sources said.
"The survey was conducted through interviews with respondents on the questions of cleanliness indicators in 407 railway stations across 16 zonal railways," an official statement said.
Among 75 stations that have Rs.60 crore annual earnings, Varanasi railway station in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency figures among the last in terms of cleanliness.
Varanasi station, however, is cleaner than Raipur, Muzaffarpur, Bhopal, Kanpur Central, Sealdah and Guwahati stations, the report said.
Among other stations in the Category A1, Bilaspur, Solapur, Mumbai Central (main), Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Madurai and New Jalpaiguri came out with flying colours.
Speaking on the occasion, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the survey "was commissioned under the 'Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' with the objective of measuring passengers' satisfaction with regard to cleanliness at station premises".
Consequent to the launch of 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' on October 2, 2014 by Prime Minister Modi, Indian Railways had launched 'Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' to achieve the vision of 'Clean India' by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, an official statement said.
Surat and Rajkot as cities had been rewarded last month by the Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu as "Best Performer in West Zone" and "Best performer in door-to-door collection and transportation of solid waste and sweeping" categories at the end of 'Swachh Sarvekshan-2016' for their efforts to improve sanitation in respective cities.
Under a different category, Gandhidham (Gujarat), Vasco da Gama (Goa) and Jamnagar (Gujarat) are the cleanest among 332 railways stations.