Chennai

Railways may ban plastics in 36 stations

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Chennai Central among them; surveillance to be enhanced by using CCTV cameras

The Indian Railways may ban plastics and enforce the ‘polluter pays’ rule at 36 major railway stations across the country, including Chennai Central, Tiruchi and Thiruvananthapuram in Southern Railway.

As part of initiatives to achieve ‘ISO 14001’ certification prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the 36 stations that constitute 5% of the major railway stations in the network, were identified for launching an intensive cleanliness, water and energy management programme.

Recovering cost

The railways will enforce the ‘polluter pays’ norm effectively and recover the cost of restoration of damage caused to the environment by the identified polluter as per law.

Railways may ban plastics in 36 stations
 

Besides enhanced surveillance by officials of the Health and Sanitary Department, closed circuit television network will be used to identify passengers/visitors who pollute the railway premises. With a target to achieve the ‘ISO 14001’ parameters within a stipulated time frame, the railways will first consider banning plastics in all the 36 ‘eco-smart’ stations. Every regulatory authority on railway premises will enforce the ‘polluter pays’ norm in compliance with the Solid Waste and Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and the Supreme Court ruling in the matter of Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum vs Union of India and others.

The shortlisted railway stations may have their own websites to receive grievances and suggestions from the public, particularly on issues relating to cleanliness and hygiene. The railways would conduct a water and energy audit at these stations to conserve consumption.

Action plan

Nodal officers nominated to each of the 36 stations will devise an action plan with verifiable indicators within one month to achieve the target. The implementation of the eco-smart project comes in the wake of an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), sources in the Southern Railway said on Tuesday.

Among other prominent railway stations shortlisted for the scheme are New Delhi, Mumbai Central, Howrah, Allahabad, Lucknow, Guwahati, Secunderabad, Visakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Pune, Mysuru and Jaipur.

Single use plastic products were banned in Tamil Nadu from January 1, 2019.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 2:12:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/railways-may-ban-plastics-in-36-stations/article26315474.ece

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