Mumbai: Railway stations to have environment-friendly metal roofs

Apr 16, 2018, 20:10 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar

Environment on mind, the railways has begun the process to change the roof at suburban stations. Authorities have started replacing the asbestos sheets with metal ones, which, they say, are lighter and sturdier

Asbestos sheets piled up at Kurla station, which is getting a new roof made of metal
Asbestos sheets piled up at Kurla station, which is getting a new roof made of metal

Environment on mind, the railways has begun the process to change the roof at suburban stations. Authorities have started replacing the asbestos sheets with metal ones, which, they say, are lighter and sturdier. Asbestos mineral fibre of all kinds, including chrysotile (white asbestos), has been certified dangerous by the World Health Organization. Saying that getting rid of it in one go is logistically impossible, railways said the process, being done in phases, is gathering pace.

"Besides the environment concern, metal sheets are better as they are lightweight, easily replaced and sturdier; they won't break into pieces if there is damage. We have taken up the work to replace the asbestos sheets at major stations, namely Kurla and Byculla among others. While all new station buildings and platforms anyway have metal sheets for roof, the older ones are being phased out slowly," a senior divisional officer said.

"We have a narrow window of time to do this before the monsoon sets in. Whatever work on roofing begun needs to be completed before the rains start. As metal sheets come in lots, we are replacing them at select stations."

As the disposal of asbestos debris requires proper scientific landfilling, Central Railway Mumbai Divisional Railway Manager S K Jain said the asbestos sheets are being discarded in the prescribed environmentally safe manner. "We have directed the stores department to dispose the sheets in a safe manner, so that there are no harmful repercussions," he added.

Also read: Mankhurd to be Mumbai's second green station on Central Railways

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