A day after Western Railway approached the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for help to intensify the anti-spitting drive on railway premises, the BMC refused to join in the initiative.
The WR had sought the BMC’s help to conduct a sustained drive between Churchgate and Dahisar stations. As the railway authorities do not have the right to fine offenders, they had asked the BMC to carry out the campaign.
R.A. Rajeev, additional municipal commissioner who is in charge of the clean-up drive, said: “It is not the BMC’s responsibility. The railway is responsible for keeping its premises clean.”
“If the Central Railway can conduct a drive on its own, then why can’t the WR?” asked an official from civic Solid Waste Management department, requesting anonymity.
“We conduct such drives on CR stations. Though we don’t have any specific rules under Indian Railways Act, 1989, to fine people caught spitting, we take action against them for creating nuisance to co-passengers,” said Shrinivas Mudgerikar, chief spokesperson, CR.
“We are waiting for the BMC’s reply so it would be too early to comment on it,” said Girish Pillai, divisional railway manager, WR. He added that there are problems about cleanliness at railway stations like Churchgate.
On March 12, V. Venkatachalam, additional secretary of the Ministry of Family Health and Welfare, had issued a circular giving all state governments the authority to make direct laws on public health and sanitation and include spitting under the same.
The circular was issued after Vincent Nazareth, chairman of charitable trust Crusade Against Tobacco, approached the Centre.