At Bhopal’s Habibganj railway station, ‘makeover’ by private firm derails infrastructure; local MP insists work going on ‘smoothly’


At Bhopal’s Habibganj railway station, ‘makeover’ by private firm derails infrastructure; local MP insists work going on ‘smoothly’

If you want to see how a well-functioning system is destroyed instead of improved, head to Bhopal’s Habibganj railway station, which is India’s first “private railway station.” While degradation of infrastructure is usually associated with government facilities in India, the case of the Habibganj station is the opposite.

In 2008, the 40-year-old station became the first ISO-certified railway station. According to the railway website, it even had free Wi-Fi and was awarded the Best Tourist Friendly Station trophy by the Indian Railways in 2015.

Until a few years ago, it was one of the best examples of good design and aesthetics, passenger amenities, and cleanliness. Then, it derailed, and how!

Reason: the NDA government’s concentrated push on privatisation, but more on that in a bit. Read More

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