The train journey to Delhi — country’s seat of power and politics — is an unpleasant one. A spectacle of filth greets as you approach the Capital. The view past your window is of tracks littered with garbage and rows of slums running along. But all this is set to change as the Northern Railways is now attempting to transform this revolting first look of the Capital.
Inspired by the Beijing railway station, the railways is developing green patches along the tracks approaching the four major city stations — New Delhi, Old Delhi, Nizamuddin and Anand Vihar. Officials say that by bringing greenery to the stretches that are currently full of garbage, the Northern Railways wants to give the passengers a “better feel and view” of the Capital.
While the railways is mindful of keeping most of its concrete constructions compliant with the environment norms, greenery at the city’s railway stations is completely overlooked. Officials say that the difficulty in getting permission to cut trees, if required, for any infrastructure project, is one of the primary reasons for not planting trees on, and near, the station premises. Officials say the development of green patches will compensate for this to some extent.
“We have started developing a few stretches along the tracks near Pragati Maidan en route to the New Delhi railway station. Only shrubs, and not trees, are being planted. Wherever enough land is available, green patches along the track near other stations will also be developed,” said Arun Arora, divisional railway manager (Delhi).
Official say that the deplorable condition of the tracks approaching the city is primarily due rampant encroachment on railway land. In the past, this had invited ire of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which had directed railways to check dumping of garbage along the tracks. Officials said the development of green patches will mitigate the problem to a great extent.
“Besides railway tracks, vacant land near the yards of New Delhi and Old Delhi station will be also be planted with shrubs and grass and green patches will be maintained between the train operation areas. The contract for the work has been placed and the work has started at New Delhi station,” an official said.
The work is expected to show results by end of April 2017, officials said. .