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Report on rail track makes NGT see red

May 03, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:34 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) came in for severe criticism on Friday for the filth around railway tracks. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) expressed displeasure at its failure to relocate residents of the jhuggies in a railway safety zone and providing them with toilets.

The tribunal was irked by the report presented by DUSIB and its submission on the number of toilet seats, which would be required for 16,420 jhuggis — from Azadpur to Daya Basti. It presented an inspection note before the bench, stating it has inspected the jhuggis in the JJ clusters across a 7 km-stretch in the railway safety zone.

The Bench, displeased, remarked that "if the report (of DUSIB) is put in the dustbin, even dustbin would be insulted". Meanwhile, Railways' counsel Om Prakash told the bench that Railways is finding it difficult to realise a fine of Rs 5,000 from litterbugs, as directed by the tribunal itself.

He said that the amount cannot be realised in terms of a fine since the rules governing the Railways provide for a fine of Rs 500 only. The DUSIB has further submitted that in Azadpur's Lal Bagh area, there are 570 jhuggies and that the MCD has provided toilet complexes with 289 seats. There are about 1,500 jhuggis near the Azadpur Sabzi Mandi with 65 toilet seats provided by DUSIB.

It also said that it has taken up the work of a 20-seater pre-fab toilet cubicles instead of mobile toilet vans at data basti. The NGT had, earlier this month, announced a fine of Rs 5,000 if anyone was found littering or polluting the railway tracks. However, though the Railways have taken several measures to check the menace, they have been having a tough time relocating the jhuggies that are settled along its tracks, many of which are in the railway safety zone.

The residents of these clusters also add to a huge amount of municipal solid waste on tracks and railway property besides slowing down the speed of trains and provoking safety concerns.

Railways finding it difficult to realise a fine of Rs.5,000 from litterbugs

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