Having failed to check littering and smoking on its premises, the Railways has decided to get tougher with offenders.
The Delhi division of the Northern Railways has penalised more than 7,500 people for smoking on trains and station premises last year. More than Rs. 15 lakh was realised from offenders.
“Many passengers do not object to smoking. They often don't help officials in nailing smokers,” lamented the Delhi's divisional railway manager (DRM) Anurag Sachan.
“I appeal to passengers to fight this evil. We will also take stricter measures to ensure that rule-abiding passengers don't suffer for no fault of their own,” he added.
The Railways has decided to impose a fine of Rs.500 for anyone found littering on trains or station premises. Littering assumes massive proportions as about 10 lakh passengers use half-a-dozen stations in the Delhi division every day.
Around 20 tonnes of solid waste is generated at the New Delhi railway station alone. The Old Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin stations generate 14 tonnes and 6 tonnes of solid waste, respectively. The waste is transported to the municipal waste grounds in trucks.
As per new rules, no person is allowed to litter, cook, bathe, spit, urinate, defecate, feed animal or birds, repair or wash, paste posters or write or draw anything, except in facilities specified for passenger convenience.
Authorised vendors/hawkers will make necessary arrangements to keep containers or waste baskets for collecting litter and ensure proper disposal.
The officials authorised to impose the fine include the station master or manager and ticket collector.
Around 275 sanitation staffers work at the New Delhi railway station. The Old Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin stations have 300 and 125 sanitation workers, respectively. Ragpicking is done under contract at these stations.
“We have also launched a ‘clean Delhi division’ campaign to let volunteers guide passengers in maintaining hygiene. We have also started personal monitoring by senior officials to ensure attendance and efficiency from sanitation workers,” the DRM said.
Passengers complain that many corners of the station complex lack basic sanitation facilities.