To prevent commuters from being lured into traps laid by illegal posters put up inside local trains, the Central Railway (CR) has decided to give a composite contract to a private agency that is already involved in framing and pasting commercial advertisements in suburban trains.
The general manager of CR has spoken to the agency that has been assigned the contract. At present, CR has given advertisement rights to only one authorised person, who frames advertisements and fixes them.
“We are now trying to include the removal of illegal posters to the contractor who is already awarded the contract of putting the commercial advertisement in local trains, so that the illegal posters can be removed,” said CR general manager Sunil Kumar Sood.
The authorities are also contemplating on improving lighting conditions along railway yards as the cleaning process in trains is undertaken at night.
“Recently we have spoken to that contractor and he has agreed to do this work. We can even give a composite contract in the future. During the routine wet mopping of trains, the contractor will be required to remove anything that is unauthorised,” said Sood.
Recently, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Western Railway (WR) apprehended Pandi Virappa Aacharya on December 11,2014 while she was pasting illegal advertisement posters in local train at Mumbai central yard. Three others were caught by the RPF early on December 12, 2014 at the yard in Borivali.
Posters such as the ones promoting use of ‘black magic’, ‘witch craft’ or those encouraging sex determination are repeatedly pasted inside trains, despite repeated drives undertaken by the RPF.
As per gazette notification no-600 of November 2012 RPF and the railway operating staff has exclusive powers to impose a fine of Rs.500 for such an offence.
Anand Vijay Jha, senior Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF, WR (Mumbai Division), said, “Advertisements promoting Babas and black magic not only deface the Railway Property but also instill superstition among the public.
Hence complaints against illegal pasting of posters of Babas & fraudulent doctors have been registered with Government Railway Police for taking action under the provision of Black Magic Bill, 2011.”
“Recently a special washing schedule for 10 days has been organised wherein all affected coaches have been cleaned at car shed in Mumbai Central by a private contractor,” said Jha.