Station masters get a lashing from Railways for filthy loos in Mumbai

Following a survey by mid-day, which showed how unusable most railway toilets are, Western Railway administration is set to monitor sanitation on its stations. Railways pull up their socks and get cracking on smelly toilets and trash

From the coming week, railway station-masters will keep an eye out for commuters who don’t use dustbins for spitting or garbage disposal. Not just that, passengers will be held for littering on tracks too. Following a survey by mid-day, which showed how unusable most railway toilets are, Western Railway (WR) administration is set to monitor sanitation on its stations. Daily and monthly reports on maintenance and upkeep will be prepared too.

Malad railway station’s toilet, with missing urinals, painted a grim picture in a survey by mid-day last week
Malad railway station’s toilet, with missing urinals, painted a grim picture in a survey by mid-day last week

On May 15, mid-day had revealed how most toilets and urinals on all three railway lines were in dire need of attention, right from privacy and safety to water supply. Now, railway officials claim that they will be aggressive in checking the condition of toilets. “Pay-and-use toilets will be monitored and daily reports will be prepared,” said a senior WR official, on condition of anonymity. Reports will be submitted by the station-masters to the commercial department, which looks into maintenance and cleanliness.

However, officials admitted that monitoring pay-and-use toilets is a problem since these are maintained by contracted cleaners. Officials are optimistic that after scrutiny, payments to contractors, who land accounts amounting to crores, will be revised, if necessary.

WR is procuring 800 additional dustbins and dispersing them every 70 to 80 meters on platforms. Food stalls have been asked to keep bins on all sides of their setups. People found spitting outside bins and littering will be caught under Sec 198 of the Indian Railways Act, said Mukul Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), WR.

WR authorities have set a target of catching at least 160 passengers for littering every day between Churchgate and Virar. Littering on tracks is a major reason behind choking gutters during the monsoons.

Central Railway is, at present, working on a similar plan of action.

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