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Heaps of garbage on train tracks spark fire, concern

For the past week, heaps of domestic waste is being dropped on a daily basis from two bridges near Pune railway station; some of the refuse even caught fire a few days ago

The railway tracks near the Pune railway station have been unsafe for the past week, as  huge amounts of garbage are being thrown onto the tracks everyday from the Sangam Bridge and Wadia College Bridge.

Trash on the tracks: Commuters pointing towards the garbage dumped on the railway tracks under Wadia bridge yesterday

The incident came to light four days ago, when some of the garbage caught fire. Railway authorities had to call fire brigade to douse the flames. Taking serious note of the issue, the railway administration has now written a letter to the Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh.

“For the past few days, we have been noticing household garbage like vegetables and plastic items strewn all across the tracks in huge amounts. The garbage can be found directly under the bridges. Initially we would clean it up, but four days ago, the garbage dumped on our tracks caught fire,” said a senior railway official.

“It is a big risk for passengers of the trains passing through Pune railway station. If anything gets caught in the wheels of the trains, a serious accident could take place. We have tried to find out who has been throwing the garbage, but couldn’t find anyone. Our housekeeping staff is working hard to clean up this mess everyday,” he added.

There are more than 10 railway tracks in the station. Pune division railway manager Suneet Sharma told mid-day, “I have personally cleaned up the railway tracks near Wadia Bridge yesterday. There were some encroachments, which we have removed. We have told PMC officials to stop this garbage dumping immediately, as it is very risky and a direct threat to the movement of our trains. It is also affecting other things like signal wires and cables. I am keeping abreast of the situation and will find a solution soon.”

Sitaram Nishant, a passenger said, “Throwing garbage directly on the tracks is not allowed. Strict action should be taken against those who are responsible for this.” Another commuter, Mohan Pansare, said, “Keeping railway tracks clean and safe is the responsibility of the railway authorities. Passengers should be able to travel without fear.”

PMC says

Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh said, “I will immediately inform my officials to investigate into this issue. If something like this is happening, it needs to be stopped at the earliest. Instructions will be given to all officials in this area not to dump garbage on the railway tracks. Otherwise strict action will be taken.”

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