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Railways’ Delhi Division on cleanliness spree

Pursuant to directives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Delhi Division of the railways has launched a cleaning operation focusing on 33 stations here.

Contract for cleaning operation has been issued for 29 stations, while four are being cleaned on a
regular basis departmentally, a senior Northern Railway official said on Thursday.

The cleaning exercise at these stations, include mechanised cleaning of station premises, drains,
rag-picking and disposal of garbage.

In addition, four rag-picking contracts covering nearly a 75-km-route length in the NCR area have
also been given. The green tribunal had directed the railway administration to initiate punitive action against people found littering in and around the station premises and along the tracks.

Consequently, a total of around 24,000 users were penalised for littering on railway premises during 2014-15 and a fine amounting to Rs 24 lakh approximately was collected, the official said, adding that 68 slum dwellers along the tracks between New Delhi and Azadpur stations have been issued notices.

“Slums are major source of generation of filth, garbage and municipal solid waste. There are about 47,000 jhuggis on railway land in Delhi area itself. “Out of these, about 24,500 jhuggies lie in the safety zone (within 15 metres of the outermost track). There is accumulation of a large amount of garbage at all stretches wherever there are large jhuggi clusters in close vicinity of the tracks,” he said. A large number of these jhuggis on railway land are posing risk to the safety of train operations as they are located within the safety zone on either side of the tracks, the official said.

The railways have sought active cooperation from the Delhi government and police for removal of these encroachments as they have an adverse impact on the punctuality of train operations in Delhi area, he said.

“Due to these encroachments, the speed of the train entering Delhi area gets reduced near these jhuggi clusters,” he said.

Earth-moving machinery like excavators and a large work force have been deployed for taking up the cleaning exercise, the official said, noting that the railways are also planning to recover a part of the expenditure for the purpose from the encroachers.
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