The National Green Tribunal today directed the Railways to “strictly” impose fine of Rs 5,000 on those throwing waste on rail tracks and act against them effectively.
“There are jhuggies and even permanent buildings adjacent to the railway tracks. Why do you permit them to throw dirt on the tracks? Why can’t you stop even (people from) a single building to throw waste on the tracks?
“There are many buildings from New Delhi station to Subzi Mandi station which throw garbage daily, why don’t you stop them? If you strictly impose a penalty of Rs 5,000 on them, they won’t dare to do it again,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The tribunal also directed the Railways to produce a list of offenders who have been fined till date for throwing garbage and other waste on tracks.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Railways, assured the bench that the work of cleaning tracks was a “continuous” one and the PSU behemoth was taking all requisite action against the violators.
During the hearing, the tribunal also slammed Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) for the delay in relocation and rehabilitation of slum clusters near the railway tracks.
The counsel appearing for DUSIB told the bench that the work of survey in jhuggi clusters was going on and the process of identification of slums, which are to be shifted to flats, would commence shortly.
On the last date of hearing, the bench had directed the Railways to ensure that all tracks entering the national capital are “absolutely clean”.
The green panel had earlier slammed Railways over human defecation and other waste on rail lines and directed the authorities to expeditiously decide on rehabilitation of slum clusters located near the tracks.
It had also asked the authorities to impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on those defecating and throwing waste on tracks and act against them effectively.
The NGT had in December last year imposed a cost of Rs five lakh on Railways for failure to keep tracks and platforms in New Delhi station clean, after noting “definite negligence” and “intentional lack of will” on the part of all authorities.
The tribunal’s direction had come on a petition filed by lawyers Saloni Singh and Arush Pathania, alleging that railway authorities had failed to perform their statutory duties and were indirectly responsible for causing pollution at railway properties, particularly on the tracks.