Every time you throw a candy wrapper, stick chewing gum under the seat or spit paan in trains, your money goes into cleaning the mess — Rs. 3 crore a month.
The Central Railway (CR) and Western Railways (WR) spend Rs. 3 crore a month from the state exchequer to just wash, clean and dry trains.
The workers have to scrub off paan and tobacco stains and graffiti, remove chewing gums and advertisements, and use phenyl and spray anti-rodent liquids.
“Usually, it does not take a lot of time to wash and clean rakes [trains] using mechanised sprayers,” said a senior CR official. Requesting anonymity for protocol reasons. “But the cost is bound to escalate as we have to purchase huge quantities of stain removers and disinfectors while cleaning paan stains.”
Every day, the CR washes 14 trains at its Sanpada, Kurla and Kalwa car sheds, while WR scrubs clean seven trains at the Kandivli car shed.
Nearly 500 litres of water is used to clean one train — that is 10,500 litres of water to clean 21 CR and WR trains every day.
And this when the city is facing a 15 per cent water cut.
It takes one hour to wash each train and workers clean them from 7 am to 11 pm.
There are 127 CR trains and 74 WR trains, which means that on an average each CR train is cleaned after 10 days and each WR train after seven days.
“Commuters should realise that it’s their money and precious water that is used to keep the trains clean. Till people don’t stop spitting, our anti-spitting drive will continue,” said WR Chief PRO S. Gupta.
To dissuade commuters from their unhygienic habit, on July 1, the railways started the anti-spitting drive.
On July 31, the WR fined 119 people for spitting and sent 15 to jail for a day. Last month, the WR collected a total of Rs. 82,000 as fines.
Till date, nearly 465 people have been caught for spitting on railway premises of which 23 offenders were sent to jail for a day and 13 for five days.