Tendulkar sanctions Rs 2 crore from his MP fund for ‘immediate revamp’ of Mumbai’s FOBs
In the wake of the Elphinstone stampede, Cricket legend and Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar has sanctioned Rs 2 crore from his Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund for revamp of Mumbai’s rail foot-over bridges.
Every year, MPs are allotted Rs 5 crore under the MPLAD Scheme, primarily to take up development projects in their respective constituencies. The fund has been increased over time, starting from Rs 5 lakh in 1993-94 to Rs 5 crore at present.
Tendulkar, in a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, said he is requesting the Mumbai suburban district collector to authorise Rs 2 crore towards immediate revamp and construction of FOBs in high density, single bridge stations across each suburban division.
The cricketing icon allotted Rs 1 crore each to Western Railway and Central Railway from his MPLADS fund.
The letter came in the backdrop of the Elphinstone tragedy last month, in which at least 23 people were killed in a rush-hour stampede on a narrow FOB linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban stations during heavy rain.
“The recent incident at the Elphinstone Road station on Western Railway where innocent lives were lost in a stampede was devastating and I am moved to offer immediate support for the improvement of services for our Mumbaikars,” he wrote.
“For the millions 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,” Tendulkar said in the letter dated October 16.
In the letter, also sent to the Mumbai suburban district collector, Tendulkar said he has asked the Railway Ministry, Railway Board and zonal heads “to study the possibility of creating two separate independent zones for the suburban services, a request that has been made by several experts, passenger and civil society groups.”
“I think there is a merit in this request as it will bring dedicated manpower, funds and focus on the suburban network which ferries millions every single day,” he wrote.
The sportsperson, incidentally, had come under fire earlier this year for failing to attend the parliament sessions and not using his development fund.