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Public Apathy Derails Cleanliness Drive

The Swachh Bharat may have brought about a change in the cleanliness levels at four major railway stations in Delhi.

Published: 03rd April 2016 08:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2016 08:48 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The Swachh Bharat campaign may have brought about a change in the cleanliness levels at four major railway stations in Delhi, but the carefree approach of some passengers have left a bad taste in the mouth. With passengers still dumping garbage and plastic materials on the platform and tracks, the campaign is yet to achieve complete success.

A visit to the four major railways stations: New Delhi, Old Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Anand Vihar, has revealed that there is a huge focus on cleanliness and there is also a dedicated staff for waste collection; but disposal of garbage and apathy of passengers continue to remain an area of concern.

At the New Delhi Railway station, garbage, plastic and other waste is collected and segregated. Despite that, heaps of plastic waste is strewn in the outer areas of the station. The cleanliness, on platforms 1 and 16 of the station, has been outsourced to a private company while other platforms are managed by the Railways. “We are managing cleanliness on platform 1 and clean it at regular intervals. We have mechanised machines and our staff collects garbage throughout the day to ensure it remains clean,” said Rajiv Kumar Singh, an employee of Apcon India.

There is also a stark difference between cleaning efforts of private firms and the Railways. Platforms managed by the latter are cleaned only once during the day, while those maintained by private firms are cleaned time to time; there are employees who collect plastic bottles and other trash separately from tracks twice a day. However, keeping in mind the footfall, it is difficult to find a spick and span platform without cooperation from the public.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced in 2014 for outsourcing of cleaning railway stations with high footfall. A senior officer at Old Delhi station said: “Without cooperation from passengers, trains and stations can never be clean. It is humanly not possible for our staff to clean stations on an hourly basis. A behavioural change in the people can be the only saviour.” 

Similar scenes are visible at Hazrat Nizamuddin station, where garbage is strewn on the tracks and platforms despite regular cleaning. The newly constructed Anand Vihar station is quite clean. It is probably due to lesser passengers. Private contractors clean the station thrice a day.  “I have been working here for the last four years and there has been a lot of thrust on cleanliness now, and it is being monitored regularly,” said Monu Rajput, one of the contractual staff at Anand Vihar.

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