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Spitting, littering at Chennai Central to attract penal action

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MAMMOTH TASK: The Chennai Central Railway Station receives around 1.5 lakh passengers and handles over 100 trains every day. Photo: K. Pichumani
MAMMOTH TASK: The Chennai Central Railway Station receives around 1.5 lakh passengers and handles over 100 trains every day. Photo: K. Pichumani

Staff Reporter

Bids invited for mechanised cleaning project estimated to cost Rs.3.11 crore

Chennai: Southern Railway has decided to levy a fine of Rs. 100 on those caught littering the premises of the Central station with rubbish.

While a banner, displayed as part of the cleanliness week launched on Friday, at the station had this announcement, officials of Southern Railway said the modalities of levying penalty would be worked out shortly.

The proposal would be part of Southern Railway's focus on improving the aesthetics of the 130-year-old station and keeping it spic and span.

Launching the campaign, organised by the Medical Department of the Chennai Division, Additional General Manager R. Ramanathan said the emphasis was on keeping the platforms and station premises clean.

Distributing leaflets, which sought people's participation in maintaining the station's cleanliness, Mr. Ramanathan said the objective of the programme was to seek public cooperation to supplement the efforts of the railways. He appealed to the passengers to use dustbins to throw wastes, keep platforms and coaches litter-free, not to spit, and not to use toilets when the trains halted at the platforms.

The theme of the railways this year was `customer service with a smile' and it was inspired by Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's vision of improved service. The Central station would soon have a mechanised cleaning.

According to a release, the Central station has been divided into three zones for the purpose of maintenance. For the purpose of introducing a modern mechanised cleaning at the station, Southern Railway has invited bids for the project, estimated to cost Rs.3.11 crore, for three years. "With this the railways will be able to bring in experienced professionals for improving the cleanliness of the station ... "

Additional Divisional Railway Manager (Chennai) N. Swaminathan said it was difficult to keep the station, which received nearly 1.50 lakh people and handled 106 trains every day, clean without the cooperation of the passengers.

Chief Medical Superintendent J. Nagarathinam and Station Manager P.C. Ramaswamy participated.

Cultural programmes, including skits by St. John's Ambulance Brigade and Bharat Scouts and Guides on cleanliness, were organised as part of the programme.

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