Bhubaneswar, Feb 7: In order to ensure “Swachh Bharat Mission” in Railway premises, implementation of “Polluter Pays” principle ensured in “Municipal Solid Waste Rule-2016” and in the light of Hon’ble NGT’s Order and to maintain uniformity across all the Stations, ECoR has come up with new penalties for prohibition of activities affecting cleanliness and hygiene in the Railway premises.
Previous penal provisions were effected in 2016 and had four major categories of littering, spitting, urinating and defacing of walls. Any person either littering or spitting or urinating or defecating or pasting posters or dumping garbage on Railway premises such as stations, trains etc., were being penalized during Anti-Littering checks by East Coast Railway. These were in two separate sets, one for A-1 and A Class Stations and other for remaining Stations.
Maintaining proper cleanliness in Railway promises towards providing a clean and pleasant ambiance to the passengers, these provisions were being vigorously implemented on all the three Divisions of East Coast Railway i.e. Khurda Road, Sambalpur and Waltair Divisions. Station Masters, Ticket Collectors, Special Squad, RPF and other Railway officials were authorized to detect and penalize the offenders.
East Coast Railway had received a lot of encouraging response from intellectuals, media persons, NGOs and even its regular passengers for initiating this drive against spitting and littering. Various other government organizations were making inquiries with East Coast Railway regarding methodology adopted in such case.
Different Divisions of East Coast Railway had different penalties for Stations other than A-1 & A Class. With new rules, all the Stations of East Coast Railway will have some penalties depending on their classification but irrespective of the Divisions.
According to the previous rates, there was an increasing trend in number of penal cases over East Coast Railway. 9301 person were fined in 2017-18 and 10,582 passengers were fined in 2018-19. Similarly, during the current financial year, i.e. up to December, 2019; 8231 passengers were fined for littering and spitting in Railway Stations and premises.
According to the new classification of Stations by Railway Board, they are Sub-Urban (SG), Non-Sub-Urban (NSG) and Halt Stations (HG), East Coast Railway have following number of Stations as per above classification.
NSG-1 = 00 NSG-2 = 03 NSG-3 = 07
NSG-4 = 10 NSG-5 = 39 NSG-6 = 194
HG-1 = 02 HG-2 = 28 HG-3 = 30
This Classification is according to the earning potential and outward passengers handled at the Stations. Now, there will be two sets of penal rates, one for NSG-2,3 & 4 Stations and other for the NSG-5, 6 & HG (Passenger Halts) Stations. But these rates will be uniform over all the Divisions of East Coast Railway.
There are certain new categories included to make it more comprehensive apart from the earlier four e.g., Urinating, Cloth washing, using plastic below 50 microns as per plastic waste etc., along with spiting and littering.
These changes will go a long way in giving more thrust to the Swachh Bharat Mission as these will ensure greater accountability of polluter though the principle of “polluter pays” of “Municipal Solid Waste Rules-2016”. The revised penalties shall be implemented with effect from February 10.