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Mumbai's 'mobile gangs' to rid tracks of trash that causes flooding

As part of PM’s cleanliness initiative, Central Railway has formed a special team to remove plastic bottles, wrappers and bags lying on railway tracks; believes this will help reduce waterlogging during monsoon

Central Railway (CR) has created a new team to literally pick up after littering citizens – a ‘mobile gang’. This team of people will travel all over the main and Harbour lines, clearing the railway tracks of the plastic bottles, wrappers and garbage.

Officials believe that the plastic bottles, wrappers and other trash items strewn around on the railway tracks compounds the problem of waterlogging during monsoons. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Officials believe that the plastic bottles, wrappers and other trash items strewn around on the railway tracks compounds the problem of waterlogging during monsoons. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Formed 15 days ago, the gang which gets its name because it travels all over the network has been collecting garbage strewn around on tracks by uncouth citizens, which, CR believes, is one of the reasons why their line is always waterlogged during the monsoon, every year.

According to CR, the gang comprises around 25 people who will monitor the cleanliness at all stations, right from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Kalyan on the main line and Panvel on the Harbour line.

Clogged tracks
The initiative comes as a part of PM Narendra Modi’s directive to the Railways to maintain cleanliness on its premises. “This gang has been formed around 15 days ago, and keeps a watch on railway stations and areas where plastic bottles and wrappers are lying on tracks,” said a CR official. “When people throw these plastic bags and bottles, it becomes a major mess and results in clogging,” said another CR official.

Officials claimed that the recent waterlogging on tracks in areas like Kurla and Vidyavihar was due to the sudden influx of water downstream; these plastic bottles, wrappers, etc only made matters worse. While the gang will work on the tracks on almost on a daily basis, the team will review the cleanliness at stations every 30 days.

Presently, CR has more than 260 people both employees of Railways and private contractors who clean railway stations, scrub toilets, remove garbage from tracks and platforms. CR spends Rs 2 crore annually on the cleanliness and maintenance of its stations and tracks.

Officialspeak
Narendra Patil, chief PRO, Central Railway said, “This is part of Railway Board’s drive for maintaining cleanliness at stations as initiated by PM Narendra Modi.”

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