Chennai

Southern Railway to monetise waste

Nearly 14.5 tonnes of waste collects in these stations everyday.

Nearly 14.5 tonnes of waste collects in these stations everyday.  

Will roll out source segregation in a big way at all its stations

The Chennai division of Southern Railway plans to put in place a solid waste management mechanism with the aim of monetising bio-degaradable waste after segregating it from non bio-degaradable plastic waste.

With the State government planning to ban plastics except for food packing, the railway, which currently uses a range of consumables, has plans to start garbage segregation in a big way. At present, after segregating the bio-degaradable and non bio-degradable waste, they are dumped in the Corporation dumpyard.

Garbage-free stations

A senior official of the Southern Railway said through its Swacch Hi Sewa – Swachhta Pakhwara, it has made more than 150 railway stations, including Chennai Central and Egmore, garbage-free by associating with non-governmental organisations, colleges, and scouts and guides. In the next phase, it plans to explore the possibility of making money from bio-degaradable waste.

Normally, garbage accumulates in railway stations because of the presence of food stalls/canteens and hawkers selling food items and public consuming food on trains. Now Southern Railway has taken steps to install dustbins that will enable source segregation of waste. The Chennai division has two important railway terminals in the city, which, on average, see more than 5 lakh passengers visiting them a day. The pile-up of garbage is massive, at 14.5 tonnes of solid waste a day. The garbage includes that dumped by offices and residential quarters located nearby.

A senior railway official said of the 14.5 tonnes of waste collected in the two terminals of Chennai Central and Egmore, around 8.5 tonnes consist of bio-degradable waste.

Stiff penalties

The Southern Railway, through vigorous anti-littering campaigns in railway stations, has collected more than ₹2 lakh as fines. Also anti-littering notices have been displayed at various station premises along with monitoring through closed-circuit television cameras.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) also plans to stringently follow the plastics ban of the State government. A senior MTC official said more than six canteens are operated for preparing food for the employees and in all these canteens circulars have been issued to follow the norms on plastic use.

The official said if any canteen contractor is found to be using banned plastic items during inspections, they will be penalised.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 10:56:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/southern-railway-to-monetise-waste/article25736791.ece

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