Keeping railway tracks garbage-free our task, too

Updated: Oct 05, 2019, 08:45 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Our Railway tracks have become dumping grounds thanks to the encroachments along the tracks

This image has been used for representational purposes only
This image has been used for representational purposes only

A report in this paper highlighted how a Harbour Line train slips off track covered in rubbish between Mahim and King's Circle stations on Wednesday.

The report detailed how mounds of garbage covered most of the tracks between King's Circle and Mahim stations on October 2, the fifth anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. The derailment shut down the Harbour Line for four hours. Pictures showed gang men struggling hard to pull out the garbage snared in the train wheels. To add to this was the irony that the derailment thanks to garbage, (though the Railways has said the investigation to the cause of the derailment is on and it may not be solely due to the garbage) came at the peak of a two-week-long Railways Swachhata clean-up drive.

Our Railway tracks have become dumping grounds thanks to the encroachments along the tracks. Commuters too regularly throw rubbish on to the tracks. The latter needs to carry an empty bag to stow it away and dispose of it after alighting.

Can we have fences all along the tracks, where needed? While this may not stop garbage from being flung over, it is a deterrent to some extent. The Railways must repeatedly play messages about cleanliness and keeping tracks free from dirt. While this, too, may not stop people who live along the Railway lines, fines must be imposed. It is a Herculean if not impossible task to manage large swathes of the track but some kind of punishment will help. Overall, though we need to change the mindset of people, reminding them that the tracks are not a trash can.

Let us start changing in the small way we can and encourage others to do so, too. Mammoth tasks may overwhelm, one step at a time does not seem so formidable.

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