When it comes to cleanliness with regard to transport systems, there’s no doubt that the metro trumps the railways. The reason: efficient planning and supervision.
To clean 11 metro stations, which handle a commuter flow of three lakh daily, a workforce of 265 people is deployed, which works out to 24 workers a station on average.
Western Railway also has 24 workers looking after the upkeep of each station. But it handles 12 times as many passengers.
Manpower, however, is not the only consideration. Implementation is an area where the metro stands out. In addition to 24 workers on each metro station, there are also supervisors and station masters to monitor irregularities. On the other hand, there is limited supervision at Central Railway and Western Railway stations.
The railway authorities are not the only culprits. Citizens seldom hesitate to spit on railway platforms or throw wrappers out of the window, thus contributing to a filthy environment.
But while travelling on the metro, the same citizens think twice. Banning eatables on the metro has proved to be an effective measure in ensuring cleanliness. There are at least three attendants on each platform to keep a check on commuters.
Officials feel that adopting a similar approach for the railways is close to impossible and a change in attitude is the need of the hour.
“The number of people travelling (on trains) is very high and keeping tabs on each commuter is extremely difficult,” said Sharat Chandrayan, public relations officer, Western Railway. “There is a train every three minutes and we have a very small window to keep the tracks clean. In such a scenario, cooperation from the public is very important.”