As the amount of garbage being dumped along the suburban train tracks in and around Mumbai is on the rise, the railway administration is running the ‘muck special’ trains on a daily basis.
Earlier, the ‘muck special’ trains, tasked with the collection of garbage lying along the tracks, used to be operated only occasionally, officials said.
According to the officials, while the Central Railway runs four ‘muck special’ trains between CSMT and Kalyan stations, the Western Railway runs five such trains between Churchgate and Virar stations. The special trains are operated in the wee hours, when the passenger train operations are shut.
In the last fiscal (between April 2017-March 2018), the CR disposed of 94,000 cubic metres of garbage, while the WR has disposed of 75,000 cubic metres garbage ever since it launched the monsoon preparation work in April this year.
General Manager of Central Railway, D K Sharma, without naming the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said that the prime responsibility of curbing the dumping of garbage lies with the local civic body, which he said was not carrying out its work up to the mark.
“The garbage is dumped by the authorised or unauthorised units dwelling along side the tracks, which is posing a challenge before us. No one needs to tell whose responsibility it is. Its our collective responsibility to keep our surroundings clean. But we are doing our job and running four muck special trains everyday,” Sharma said.
Another CR official said the garbage dumped along the tracks not only defaces the railways, but also clogs the drainage lines, which ultimately leads to water-logging during
“Earlier, the railway authorities used to run muck special trains only occasionally. But now, it has become a regular feature as the amount of garbage dumped alongside the
tracks has gone up. We are trying to keep the tracks clean under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” the official added.
The railway authorities have stationed some outsourced JCB machines at chronic spots to lift the garbage.
A WR official said, “The garbage causes the tracks to decay and leads to water-logging. It poses a big challenge especially during the monsoon.”