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Last Updated : Sep 11, 2018 06:42 PM IST | Source: PTI

Rail ministry portal invites CSR funds for developing amenities at stations

To encourage participation of private companies and public sector undertakings in identified works/activities to be done under CSR in the railways, a policy framework had been put in place by the national transporter in 2016.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on September 11 launched a web portal wherein private and public sector undertakings can contribute their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to develop amenities at railway stations.

The companies wanting to contribute can register their requests on the portal Rail Sahyog and choose the amenity they want to promote.

The railways has identified five activities in which such contributions will be allowed, toilets in circulating areas, providing free Wi-Fi with kiosks for e-services for citizens at stations, plastic bottle crushing machines, steel benches and dustbins.

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"We want the process of using CSR funds to be simple and transparent. All we are desirous of is that a certain quality standard is maintained. The company which does contribute will have their names, logos or even company names on the initiatives. We have no problems with that," Goyal said.

The portal also gives a cost estimation for each activity - Rs 22 lakh to Rs 30 lakh per station for toilets, with provision for low-cost sanitary pad vending machines, incinerator in female toilets and condom vending machines in male toilets, and initial one year maintenance.

The cost for providing free Wi-Fi at stations through setting up hotspots has been set at Rs 10.30 lakh to Rs 12.30 lakh. Similar provisions have been fixed for benches (Rs 17,500 to Rs 47,500 per set), bottle crushing machines (Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh per machine) and dustbins (Rs 4,500 for two).

A change in the company law in April 2014 mandated that businesses with annual revenues of more than Rs 10 billion give away 2 percent of their net profit to charity.

To encourage participation of private companies and public sector undertakings in identified works/activities to be done under CSR in the railways, a policy framework had been put in place by the national transporter in 2016.

It details the works/activities executable under CSR in the field of environment sustainability, sanitation and cleanliness such as rainwater harvesting, water recycling plants, solar panels, construction of toilets, provision for solid waste management and supply of filtered drinking water.

"I want to encourage everyone to come forward and contribute, not just because it is mandatory to do so," the railway minister added.
First Published on Sep 11, 2018 06:31 pm
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