Garbage cleanup grounds to a halt at City rly station

In-charge contractor claims he has not been paid for three months

Garbage cleanup grounds to a halt at City rly station

The City’s garbage crisis has now spilled over to the City railway station.

In what has been termed by the Railways department the result of an extremely ‘callous’ approach by the Palike officers, the contractor in charge of clearing waste from the station has stopped work after complaining that he has not been paid for three months.

The cleaning came to a halt Thursday morning after a section of labourers confronted the contractor over the non-payment of their wages.

“The contractor said the Railways itself has not paid him in three months. He told the workers to approach the Divisional Railway Manager” said a Railway official.

When the labourers approached the Railway manager, they were allegedly turned away.

“They were told that the problem has to be resolved by the contractor and that the manager had nothing to do with it,” the official added. In frustration, the labourers refused to clear the garbage. 

Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar Agarwal, in turn, claimed he was out of station when the workers came to meet him.

He added that he was unaware of the problem and that he did not receive  any complaints. “I was out of station for the last two-three days and have returned today (Thursday),” he said.

“We have already received a written explanation from the garbage contractor that he is unable to continue with the work. We have decided to terminate his contract. The tender of the new contract has already been floated and opened. Hopefully, the situation will be resolved once a new contractor takes over.”

Agarwal claimed that the contractor in question was reprimanded several times and had been levied fine owing to a careless approach to the work. Other officials claimed that the contractor often dumped garbage in the backyard of the Railway station.

However, sources in the Railway department claimed that the garbage contractor, based in Delhi, has paid a bribe of nearly Rs 1.5 lakh in order to obtain his dues. But the payment, totalling to Rs 50 lakh, has still not been released.

Local manpower

In an effort to curb the growing garbage menace, the Railways, on Thursday, drafted 15 employees from their own cleaning department for the job.

“However, the number of employees may not suffice as at least 35 people are needed to clear the platforms and the tracks,” the Railway official said.

Many passengers, however, have continued to suffer as a result of the uncleared garbage.

Suresh, a passenger travelling to Mysore from the City, said that many of his fellow passengers felt nauseated because of the waste.

“On Thursday morning, passengers on the Hubli inter-city express had to cover their noses. The situation was horrible as even human refuse remaining uncleared on the tracks,” he said.

 As many as 192 trains arrive and depart from the City railway station every day and close to 1.5 lakh people travel to and from the station.

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