The Central and Western Railway together have have removed close to 1.80 lakh cubic meters of garbage and muck from rail tracks and platforms in the past few month. Yet the work remains far from over. These huge quantum of garbage shows how little people care about the lifeline that ferries 80 lakh people everyday. The same garbage and muck leads to disruption of train services during monsoon as they clog the gutters and drainage.
As the Indian Railways kick in with the Swachhta Pakwada, on ground the situation is very different. There are several stretches between railway stations where garbage and muck are haphazardly dumped. Moreover commuters at large too do not care about cleanliness much, as people carelessly dump litter on rail premises.
There are dust bins - black and green coloured one to segregate wet and dry waste - most of them are either damaged or covered with spittoon - on the platforms. But the illegal slums and encroachments next to tracks make the rail premises dumping ground. SOurces in the Western Railway claim that everyday they operate muck special trains which ferries garbage collected along the tracks.
"We run muck special trains having 2-3 coaches. Each train carries around several gunny bags of garbage weighing around 3 tonnes or so," said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway.
The WR has collected nearly 1 lakh cubic meter of silt. During monsoon around 3-4 muck special were operated while on a regular day 2 muck special trains are run. There are 3-5 wagons with capacity of 20 cubic meter per wagon. In a day around 250 sacks of garbage is collected and taken to dumping ground.
"We have collected over 90000 cubic meters of silt until now. We are still operating muck specials everyday," said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway.
The special trains are operated in the wee hours, when the passenger train operations are shut. "The illegal encroachments are a big issue. The people staying there dump garbage on tracks which has now become a hill. The railways are talking about Swachhta abhiyaan but these should concentrate on removing garbage ans silt dumped next to tracks between two stations," said Madhu Kotian, president, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.
The railways have been stating that the local civic bodies should also take initiative in keeping the rail lines clean and ensure that people throwing garbage on tracks should be fined. The BMC and Railways had discussed to levy Rs 500 fine for the same but nothing much happened on the same.
SOME AREAS PRONE TO GARBAGE DUMPING:
Harbour line: Govandi, Mankhurd, Wadala, Sandhurst Road, Kurla, Kings Circle
CR: Kurla, Vikhroli, Mulund, Nahur,
WR: Jogeshwari, Ram Mandir, Kandivali, Dahisar
Total silt and garbage removed: 1.60 lakh cubic meters
Daily commuters on WR and CR: 80 lakh
Daily muck special run: 2-3