Odisha News Insight

Railways lead Swachh Bharat Mission in Bhubaneswar

Railways lead Swachh Bharat Mission in BhubaneswarBy Srikanta Mohanty: Ranking as a top station among the first fifty in India, Bhubaneswar Railway Station has the most fast-flowing traffic of passengers as well as trains. As in the last years, the state has felt increasing demand for new trains the authority of Indian Railway found sanitation a tough task inside the station premises.

Like every other station in India, the nearby spaces of railway tracks kept on accommodating a number of slums that added to the predicament of cleanliness inside and outside the temple-city station. With the growth in the number of passengers and vendors, cleanliness continued to pose difficulties for everyone.

“I would hesitate to drink even a drop of water, when I began travelling in the sleeper-class of Indian Railway years ago, let alone going to toilets in the trains. For me the toilets were like hells. I would go from one compartment to another to find a cleaner one. When the stations came, I used to rush back to my berth fearing local commuters would take the space that simply added to woes of hygiene inside the compartment. Besides this, the travellers were so fond of throwing cigarette butts, banana peels, and other trash from the windows of trains to the platform. As the train came to halt at a particular station, people would rush out of the doors to buy, spit, and throw. Every arrival and departure of a train had its worst effect on the health of hygiene at the station”-Says Sanjukta  Mishra, who found travelling tough in her initial period of posting as a probationary officer in a leading nationalized bank of India.

Railways lead Swachh Bharat Mission in Bhubaneswar 1Like the plight of other stations, Bhubaneswar Railway Station suffered from lack of hygiene and inadequacy in cleaning staff.  The year 2014 marked a difference as the city stayed as one among the fifty stations by the Indian Railway belonging to “A1” and “A” categories. As a set of guidelines were readied for implementation for major drive for cleanliness in all these stations, railway began floating tenders for cleanliness of Bhubaneswar station that included tracks, platforms, parts of railway premises, and connecting roads, public space, and parking places.

Being an integral part of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s “Swachh Bharat Mission”, Bhubaneswar station has gone through a major makeover in the last one year. “The task has been entrusted to Dynamic Agency that maintains the premises with 120 numbers of staff. The group consists of sweepers and four supervisors, who work round-the-clock in three shifts. Each shift runs for eight hours with assignments to group of sweepers and their supervisor.”-Says C.R. Nayak-Station Manager of Bhubaneswar Railway Station.

As the new fifth and sixth platforms are already functional, cleanliness has gathered momentum with the proposal for additional service staff for the purpose. The initiatives have paid off with cleaner tracks, platforms, as well as spic-and-span waiting-rooms for every class of passengers.

Railways lead Swachh Bharat Mission in Bhubaneswar 2“It is the awareness among people that has brought such wonderful result. Apart from dealing with garbage, we find the task of disposal of solid waste tougher. The number of trains is growing coupled with population growth. At present, Bhubaneswar Municipality Corporation has given a single place at Bhuasuni in Bhubaneswar to dump solid-waste. In future, we might need more such dumping yards to tackle this problem. But soon the number of cleanliness staff would get increased to 170 to have more focus in every part of station and the adjacent areas”-Says Subrat Mondal, Chief Health Inspector of Bhubaneswar Railway station.

The drive through creation of awareness was noticeable as students from leading schools of the city lent a helping hand to the cleanliness staff on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti. Expressing concern over the problem, the students also painted numerous paintings on the walls as appeal for citizens for cleanliness. This has helped the temple city station to become a model under “Swachh Bharat Mission”.

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