Mumbai plastic ban: Why are Railways allowed plastic covers and not us, ask traders

Jun 28, 2018, 10:41 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

Officials reply sheets are not single use and vital to protect important devices from rain for smooth train operations

Mumbai plastic ban: Why are Railways allowed plastic covers and not us, ask traders
An indicator and a signal covered with plastic sheets at railway stations

Are plastic sheets on signals and station indicators allowed? A former member of Western Railway Users' Consultative Committee and a trader himself has questioned the railways' use of plastic sheets to cover signals, platform indicators and ticket machines.

"I have shot off a query to the general manager, seeking clarity on the issue. I come from the trading community, and for the last two days, traders are being fined for using plastic covers. Doesn't the same rule apply to railways? They seem to be getting away with using plastic sheets over their accessories," Singhal said.

An indicator and a signal covered with plastic sheets at railway stations
An indicator and a signal covered with plastic sheets at railway stations

The rebuttal
Railway officials said the rule categorically states there is a ban on single-use plastic, and the sheets spread over crucial signalling equipment, platform indicators and ticketing machines are for protecting them from adverse weather, as these are electronic devices.

Exposing them to such weather will jeopardise train operations, they added. A Western Railway spokesperson said sheets on railway equipment are not for single use and not removed after a few days, but remain there for a very long period of time. Nonetheless, WR will find a suitable replacement in due course of time, the spokesperson added.

A CR spokesperson said, "The cover is a type of raincoat for long-term use, to protect important devices essential for train operations. The material of this protective coat is outside the purview of banned plastic items."

Also Read: Mumbai plastic ban: Stop fining us for recyclable plastic, fume hotels body

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