PAC expresses concern over air pollution by Rlys

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has expressed concern over air pollution at railway stations and tracks.

It has asked Indian Railways to install equipments at all stations to measure air pollution levels. The Committee in its report has said that this should be done “in a time-bound manner to reduce air pollution to the desirable level”.

The Committee in its report tabled in Lok Sabha on Thursday has said that “in the absence of any equipment as well as expertise, the steps initiated by the Railways towards checking air pollution at the stations are inadequate and unrealistic. “An Indian Railway station is typically over crowded with large number of visitors and coolies,” says the report.

The report has noted that the pollution issues arise mainly while handling and transporting freight such as coal, iron ore, cement, fertilisers and other such materials. These commodities are mainly handled at Railway/ Private sidings and Goods sheds. They cause serious air pollution when carried in open wagons and during loading/unloading operations.

“Further, fugitive emission is also caused by these commodities. Such dust, when deposited on the track, impedes drains as it files interstices within the track ballast,” the reports adds.

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