In a major effort to keep all the railway tracks clean of plastic waste, the Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division has issued directives to all food vendors on trains.
The vendors have been asked to collect the plastic and food wastes immediately after the distribution of food to the passengers.
For this purpose, the vendors have been asked to carry trash bags through all the compartments of the trains.
The decision was taken as the authorities were alarmed at the rising incidence of plastic wastes disposed at the railway tracks.
“We have issued orders to all the officials concerned to monitor the vendors. They can travel in groups of two: one person can carry the waste bag while the other can collect the waste,” said Rajesh Agarwal, Thiruvananthapuram division DRM.
“There are thousands of plastic bags that can be collected from one train alone in this division. The passengers don’t understand the utmost need to keep the ecosystem safe. The constant disposal of plastic waste into the tracks and the other places is harmful to the environment,” he said.
The collected waste will be stored at major railway stations which will be immediately taken by the railway staff to the disposal sites. The concerned municipalities and local bodies will then take the responsibility of disposing the waste.
However this part of the proposal is still underway, the DRM added. As per the order passed, strict directions have been given to the TTEs on board the trains, to keep a strict watch on all the food vendors.
“A heavy fine will be imposed on all the food vendors who fail to follow the guidelines. Placing waste bins in the train is not a feasible idea as the stench of the leftovers would make the journey unpleasant,” he added.
In this regard, he also called the passengers to share the responsibility of keeping the tracks clean.
Thousands of plastic bottles and packaged items are being thrown out of the windows on a daily basis from all the trains heading to and fro from the Thiruvananthapuram division.