Criticising the Indian Railways for its failure to prevent people from littering on its tracks, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday claimed that the railways, despite being an important part of India’s heritage, was “creating havoc in society”.
“We have one of the greatest heritages in the world. What will the people, who come to the national capital, think about the state of affairs in the country? At least you all do some work honestly,” the NGT bench said.
The NGT had asked the Railways to take a particular area as a case study, implement measures to dissuade people from throwing garbage on tracks and then replicate the same in other areas. The bench said that the Railways needed to “provide incentives” to encourage people to use dustbins, while ensuring that those who refuse to pay the fine for non-compliance are taken into custody. It also directed the Railways to reveal the number of people who have been fined for throwing garbage on railway tracks earlier.
The counsel for the Railways submitted that while some people had been fined by the authorities, most were poor, unwilling and incapable of paying the fine.
The bench observed, “You (Railways) don’t do charity at the cost of others. You are creating havoc in the society. Just travel five minutes from New Delhi railway station towards Sadar Bazaar and Sabzi Mandi areas and you will find huge heaps of garbage thrown on, and next to, railway tracks,” the bench said.
The NGT also asked the Railways whether any dustbins have been installed in those localities and whether people were being made aware of these measures, as directed by it.