Chugging in the right track

Chugging in the right track

In an attempt to make the railways stations in the City cleaner, the South Western Railways is keeping a close watch on any activity that affects the cleanliness of the stations and their premises.

   They had enforced stricter fines on those who violate the rules sometime back.
   While this might come as a surprise to many, after the enforcement, the City railway station and Yeshwanthpur station are looking much neater.

   To maintain a cleaner environment, the railway authorities have employed 130 people, who have been put in three shifts at the Bangalore City railway station. More workers have been deployed to places with high footfall.

“The TTRs, checking staff and health inspectors are keeping a regular check on different platforms. There are well-maintained restrooms and lounges for passengers. Thus, there is no issue of bathing in the stations,” says Anil Kumar Agarwal, divisional railway manager.

A strict vigil is being kept on offences like throwing trash except in authorised places, cooking, bathing, spitting, defacing the walls and railways coaches by
sticking posters and more.

Anil says, “Cleanliness is a major issue here. The medical department handles the cleanliness-related offences in these premises. Stricter fines have been implemented for each offence starting from Rs 100 per offence. While offences like littering would invite a fine of Rs 100, those who indulge in defacing walls, bathing, spitting or
urinating in railway stations are fined Rs 200.”

   He details, “On an average, there are about 15 to 20 cases detected per week and the offenders are fined accordingly.” Keeping a stricter watch on points of entry and exit and reducing the different exit points are other measures taken by the authorities, vouches Anil.

Senior divisional security commissioner (Railway Protection Force), Louis Amuthan, points out that under Section 147 of Railways Act, trespassing on railway premises without permission, 4,564 people were arrested and Rs 4,60,595 was collected as fine in 2012. This year, (until April 2013), 327 people have been arrested and Rs 61,275 as fine was imposed by the Court.

   He comments, “A stricter check on people entering the premises is a must. This also adds to the garbage and cleanliness issue, which we have been keeping a watch on.”

Changing the mindset of the people is the hardest task. Station master S R Bhaskar comments, “No change is possible overnight. We have added more dustbins, and are keeping a check on overflowing ones. The Railway Protection Force is always on its toes, taking action on the spot against offenders. Close monitoring is done through the cameras.”

   Bhaskar clarifies that despite all these efforts, people have to change their attitude towards littering the station. He asks, “Would you do that at your own home? It’s this message that has to settle in the minds of the people.”
People who frequent the railway stations say that more efforts need to be put in. Santhosh Kumar, a systems engineer, travels a lot by train.

   He says, “Since a lot of people frequent the stations, it’s understandable that it’s a hard task to monitor each corner. To lessen garbage and increase the cleanliness quotient, more dustbins should be placed on the platforms.”

He adds, “The flash boards where the train timings are displayed could also carry messages about cleanliness norms and the fines implemented so that people in the stations are more careful.”

Others believe that more people should be assigned to keep a check on this issue. Sneha V, an MBA student who frequents the Yeshwanthpur station, says, “The most hideous of these offences is spitting. Fines are just for namesake. I’ve never seen a cop or a TTR fining anyone.” She firmly opines, “More people need to be assigned at all entry and exit points so that a stricter check can be done.”

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