GUWAHATI, Aug 2 - Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has started a major drive for cleanliness of railway tracks and platforms in the city and other areas falling under the zone�s Lumding division and as part of it over 2,200 persons have been fined for being involved in polluting Railway areas.
Senior NFR officials told The Assam Tribune that the drive has been undertaken all along the railway tracks and at stations of Guwahati, Kamakhya and New Guwahati in the city, along with other parts falling under the division.
�Since start of the fiscal year in April, our staff has found over 2,200 persons polluting Railway areas in the division, which also includes Guwahati. Such persons have been penalized and we have collected around Rs 3 lakh as fine from them,� said an official.
Sources in Maligaon admitted that lack of cleanliness and hygiene in railway properties and areas is a major concern for not only the NFR zone, but for the entire Indian Railways.
An official said, �Therefore, beginning this April-May, the Indian Railways has been making concerted effort to make some visible improvements. While penalizing people who are found indulging in practices like littering and dirtying of railway property is important, that in itself is not enough, so we have undertaken several other initiatives, with major emphasis on Guwahati.�
In the city, mechanized coach cleaning is currently being carried out at six pit lines of Guwahati Coaching Depot at Guwahati, New Guwahati and Kamakhya stations. The activity has been outsourced to outside agencies and 38 trains are being covered under the contract.
�Under this, rakes are intensively cleaned inside and outside of coaches with high pressure water jet machines, scrubber machines and with wet and dry vacuum cleaners using branded chemicals. The pantry cars are also being taken special care of,� said an official.
The Clean Train Station (CTS), in which toilets are cleaned with back mounted high pressure water jet machines and coach interiors are cleaned with wet and dry vacuum cleaners at the platform, has also been outsourced at Guwahati and Kamakhya stations and 35 trains have been so far covered under it.
NFR has also provided On Board Housekeeping Services (OBHS) in 27 trains originating from Guwahati and Kamakhya stations. The number of workforce engaged in cleaning railway property has also been increased.
�Sanitation maintenance at Guwahati station has been outsourced. It is under Medical department and is monitored by Senior Station Manager. Cleaning is done by mechanized as well as manual means,� said the official.
NFR officials said that the general public and railway commuters also have a role to play in ensuring cleanliness.
Asked about the steps taken to bring the common people on board to help in the effort, NFR PRO Nripen Bhattacharya said, �We have started awareness drives at all levels, including the use of posters, announcements and counselling and with the help of the media. Regular inspections by senior officials, along with representatives of the Medical department, are also being carried out.�