KOCHI: In a bid to prevent the water mafia from reusing the uncrushed drinking water bottles and to check plastic waste generation, Railways is considering installing potable drinking water bottle pulveriser machines at railway stations. Interestingly, it was also suggested that the passengers must be allowed to enter the station only a hour before the train’s scheduled departure.
The suggestion was made by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) after conducting a survey of major railway stations for cleanliness ranking. It was conducted with the objective of measuring passenger satisfaction with cleanliness on station premises. And the survey covered 407 major railway stations across the country-- 75 A1 category stations and 332 A-category stations. IRCTC pointed out that the installation of pulverisers would greatly bring down plastic garbage generation on Railway premises.
According to the survey, ban on polythene carry bags and plastic cups and plates may be imposed inside station premises.
The aesthetic value of the station should be enhanced by giving a horticulture contract for the station along with sanitation contract.
Further, it mooted an e-platform for consolidating and monitoring the level of cleanliness. It can also be used to send alerts. The mechanism may be on e-platform, which will enable the managers get real-time status on cleanliness and Anf the Management Information System (MIS) report will indicate the improvements needed.
IRCTC, which said that apart from preventing bad odour, sweet/pleasant fragrance must be ensured. Educating passengers and ensuring their participation in the cleanliness drive is essential.
Moreover, awards for station cleanliness, friendly attitude to commuters and penalising passengers for littering should be initiated, the survey said. Paul K J Manvattom, president, Railway Users’ Association said the suggestion should be implemented soon. “Destroying plastic bottles thrown away by passengers will help to reduce plastic waste. Besides, it will save the environment,” he said.