Every time you take a train on the Central and Harbour Line, illegal posters promoting magical potions, pain relief, business opportunities and jobs greet you inside the compartments. However, the Central Railway has claimed that the posters have reduced significantly. This is the reply activist Mansoor Darvesh got from the Railways after he filed a Right To Information (RTI).
According to Railways authority, from January 2011 to 2012, the Railway Police Force (RPF) has arrested 320 for sticking illegal posters in compartments. The Central Railway (CR) also collected fines to the tune of R 1.61 lakh from the offenders, who were fined under the Section 166 of the Railway Act.
The situation, it seems, has improved further this year. In 2012, the RPF caught 259, 104 people have been caught till April 2013. “Until April 2013, we have also collected fine of Rs 3.34 lakh from offenders,” said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner (Mumbai), CR.
An RPF officer, on condition of anonymity, confirmed that they have started crackdown on these illegal people pasting stickers by going to their dens. “The offenders usually paste the posters during night hours when the trains are parked in car sheds and sidings.”
A regular CR-commuter, Dinaz Shrivastava, said, “Sometimes, a lot of commuters fall prey to these false advertisements. In desperate times, people do not think before reacting to such claims.” Another regular communter, Siddharth Balvali, agreed with Shrivastava. “Not only are the advertisements misleading, they also spoil the interiors of the compartments,” said Balvali.