Posts Tagged ‘TRASH ON TRACK’


About 2 lakh tonne of garbage is dumped daily along the railway tracks in Mumbai and this official data holds a mirror to the city’s appalling culture of dumping waste in public spaces

If you are among those who carelessly dispose the packaging of your snack from the train window, stop and think again. You are contributing to around 2 lakh tonne of waste, muck and garbage that the railways is losing sleep over, due to the entailing efforts required to clean it up.

The railways in Mumbai are as important as the oxygen we breathe, due to the city’s unique network of suburbs. Railway officials have been asking commuters to work on their civic sense but the Mumbaikar just isn’t listening. In fact, officials from both the central and the western railway say that the efforts put in towards cleaning up the garbage is almost the same as running the services.

Last year, the Western Railway (WR) sent a proposal to the Railway Board in Delhi, asking permission to impose a fine of Rs 500 on a commuter littering on railway property. But the proposal is still stuck in limbo due to the logistical difficulties of the plan.

The Central Railway (CR) recently asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to deploy clean-up marshals who are empowered to impose a fine of upto Rs 100 on individuals caught littering and spitting along the railway lines. However, this plan too is under consideration.

CR chief public relations officer Sunil Udasi says, “We have been cleaning up the muck that accumulates along our lines. It is quite a task for us; when we go back to the same space where we have worked, almost half or even all of our work is undone by people who come and dump garbage there again.” He further adds that the biggest challenge is the physical effort needed to clear the garbage off the tracks (due to the nature of the current infrastructure of the railway line), “We have been trying to get the JCB cranes into small and tight spaces next to the railway line where the garbage is dumped. Then we have to make sure that there is separate electricity provided to them in order to actually work there.”

A regular traveller from Mumbai to Nagpur, Jacob Sathe

(68) says, “I am not saying the railways is not doing their work. In fact, there are a lot of machines on the station through which they try to keep the stations clean. But I feel that people have become even more uncivilised.”

WR chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar says, “It takes almost all departments in the night to contribute towards picking up the garbage. We would like to appeal to Mumbaikars to do their bit, by not throwing their personal trash from a running train.”

Muck is not only garbage but also comprises human waste as many slum dwellers tend to use railway tracks for defecation. It takes both the central and western railway 5 ‘muck special trains’ every night to clean up the mess Mumbai makes.

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