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Sprucing up for the President

July 17, 2006
On July 17, commuters passing through Mahim railway station in Mumbai were a surprised lot. It had been almost a week since a bomb went off in a train compartment at this station -- part of the seven bombs that exploded in Mumbai on July 11 -- but the station had remained the same.

Squalid entrance, paan-stained walls near the ticket counters, beggars and junkies loitering about -- nothing had changed since Black Tuesday.

Monday, however, the station was being given a serious facelift. A pandal had been erected at its entrance. Workers could be seen everywhere, going about the task of beautification.

The reason for the sudden drive was that President A P J Abdul Kalam is visiting the station -- damaged in last week's blast -- on Tuesday.

On learning this one weary passenger remarked: "The President should come to Mumbai more often, and visit one railway station every time."

Reportage: A Ganesh Nadar | Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
Also read: Complete coverage: The Mumbai blasts

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