On the day of the nationwide launch of the ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’, aside from ministers inspecting railway station premises and even contributing by sweeping platforms, railway officials conducted a clean-up drive of their own by fining commuters for spitting in, and littering, station premises.
Education first? Officials said the fines were meant to educate commuters
According to officials from Western Railways (WR), on October 2, railway ground staff caught around 692 people for spitting and littering on platforms and collected approximately R48,200 in fines, which were levied depending on the severity of the offence. “We are fining offenders but, more importantly, we are trying to educate them,” said Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), WR. Sources said that many commuters were caught throwing papers, wrappers and even food on the platforms.
Since the last few days, ground staff can be spotted collecting trash and scrubbing out paan stains at station premises. mid-day had reported on September 19 that the staff members were demanding that railway authorities bring in stricter regulations and penalties for people who litter or soil station premises
Railway employees were also seen sweeping premises at every station. Officials claim nearly 9,000 brooms were used across all Central and Western railway stations.
25 trains cancelled on CR network
Two technical failures forced Central Railway officials to cancel around 25 train services yesterday. Around 2 pm, the pantograph of an Ambernath-bound slow train got dislodged, halting other trains on the track in the morning. Then, around 7.40 pm, a CST-bound train got derailed at platform one of Kalyan station. The seventh coach came off the track while it was leaving the platform. This is the second derailment in the last two days and the fifth in the last 30. On October 2, S K Sood, General Manager of CR, had said that the lack of mega blocks because of festivals over the last few weekends was the main cause of these technical failures.