Underlining the need to improve sanitation at railway stations, a Parliamentary committee has suggested that CCTV cameras be used to keep track of the level of cleanliness on platforms, apart from ensuring security.
"Railways should explore the feasibility of providing CCTV cameras to keep track on the level of cleanliness in stations and platforms," Public Accounts Committee has said.
The job should be assigned to an agency other than the one involved in ensuring security, it said while revealing various shortcomings on cleanliness and sanitation in Indian Railways.
It desired that the Ministry must resort to "out of the box thinking on this issue and must display readiness and swiftness to measure the sanitary conditions."
Earlier, Railways had objected to suggestion for use of CCTV cameras for looking into cleanliness on the grounds that the cameras are being used only for ensuring security in station premises and both the functions by one agency will not be possible.
The committee also recommended that Railways should put in place an institutional mechanism at the apex level dedicated towards cleanliness and sanitation in Indian Railways.
It observed that the Railway Ministry should frame a policy on waste management and lay down a mechanism whereby the quantum of garbage generated on stations can be assessed "realistically".
This would ensure adequate collection, segregation and disposal facilities along with putting in place necessary infrastructure, the committee said.
"The Ministry should outlay a dedicated budget exclusively meant for sanitation and cleanliness on Indian Railways with a provision for year wise increment on the same," it further said.
The committee recommended the Ministry to ensure that the housekeeper should undertake periodic inspection onboard trains several times a day.
Though it appreciated the fact that several measures have been initiated by Railways to improve cleanliness, it however, expressed concern over Railways "inability" to quantify or lay down a benchmark to assess the level of cleanliness at stations and in trains.