Dirty rail lines, station toilets need to be brought on track

  • Aneesha Bedi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 10, 2014 22:51 IST

While the Chandigarh railway station’s clean platforms are easy on the eye, the stench from the dirty toilets— like the ones in most public places in the country — and the filthy tracks are enough to mar the image.

The station in Darua here, which is rated among the top 100 booking stations of the Indian Railways, has dustbins placed at every 50m, and contract workers clean the place regularly.

But, the foul-smelling washrooms, and garbage on the tracks leave one wondering whether the station would rank among the tidiest in the country.

Everyday, as many as 16,000 passengers use the station which serves both Punjab and Haryana.

Lack of civic sense

Station superintendent RK Dutta said half the mess was because of rallies by various political and non-political groups.

“While civic workers are doing their best, group bookings cause nuisance. People end up waiting at the station for hours together and litter after eating.”

Dutta highlighted that public contribution was crucial to maintain the place. “Civic sense is still amiss. We just got the walls painted to get rid of paan stains. People should stop treating the place like a spit zone,” added Dutta.

Staff crunch

Deputy station superintendent JP Uppal pointed out that more maintenance staff was required.

“Currently, a 25-member-team is responsible for the station’s upkeep. We have made requests, and soon 55 more personnel are likely to join. This will help expedite the cleaning process as the station which has been expanded with the recent constructions.”

Shop owners and coolies lauded the authorities for ensuring frequent cleanliness inspections after the national cleanliness campaign was launched.

However, they feel slapping fines on passengers who litter will improve the surroundings.
Travelling ticket examiner (TTE) Mukesh Solanki said they already imposed fines on those found urinating in the open or littering.

“Fine amount ranges from Rs 100-500 depending on how much the offender can afford. I catch at least 12-15 people a month,” he said.

Littered parking lot

Plastic bags, disposable plates and glasses strewn across the parking lot and the subordinate rest house next to the VIP parking area highlight the problem of urban filth.

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