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Railway officers set to adopt stations for cleaning

PTI 23 Nov 2014, 10:37:56 AM IST

New Delhi: Looking to give a new impetus to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat mission, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has suggested that officers working with the public transporter could adopt one railway station each in order to ensure proper cleanliness on the premises. 

Noting that “in Railways, cleaning is nobody's baby”, Prabhu has also advocated banning of cooking and shifting out of commercial stalls, including eateries, from the platforms to keep railway stations clean and safe.  

According to the plan, about 700 stations are being identified to be taken up by individual officers for cleaning from next month.

“In Railways, cleaning is nobody's baby. Constant tussle between medical, commercial and engineering branches on not owning the cleaning job,” Prabhu said in a note sent to the Chairman, Railway Board, and other officials concerned.  

“Railways has almost as many officers (group A and B) as it has railway stations. It may be a good idea if an officer adopts a station for cleaning purposes,” he added in the note.  

Although there are about 7,500 stations in the country, the number of those being chosen for cleaning is about 700 only.

“The stations being chosen are the ones where train movement is significant,” said a senior rail ministry official.

The cleanliness drive was taken up by railways on October 2 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The then Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda himself had picked up the broom at New Delhi station as part of the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan.  

However, the drive appears to have lost steam and the new rail minister is keen to relaunch it in a dedicated way.  

With a view to take the drive forward, Prabhu has also sought a ban on cooking on platforms along with the shifting out of stalls and eateries.

While cooking on platforms is one of the factors which contribute to uncleanliness, it is also considered to be a safety hazard.