Amid steady rise in passenger traffic and earnings, the divisional railway authorities have embarked on the task of developing Tiruchi junction as a model station with thrust on cleanliness, bio-waste handling and water and energy conservation.
A detailed action plan has been prepared in compliance with an order issued by the National Green Tribunal, which has directed that an environment management system be put in place at 37 major stations, including Tiruchi, across the railway network and coordination with local bodies for waste management.
As a first step in the direction, Tiruchi division has set out to obtain ISO 14001 certification for Tiruchi junction — a major station in Southern Railway zone — by engaging a certified agency to carry out detailed audit in respect of environment management and related aspects.
Detailed documentation containing measures carried out at the station was compiled and a preliminary audit conducted at the station by a senior auditor of the certified agency recently after applying for the certification, railway officials said.
The audit was done on various aspects including cleanliness, existing passenger amenities, extent of pollution threatening the local environment, energy measures and water consumption.
The railway administration will soon engage a third party agency to carry out water and energy audits at the junction separately to suggest scope for conservation measures and plug loopholes, if any, the officials said.
Located in the central part of the State providing connectivity to eastern and western destinations as well, the Tiruchi railway junction witnessed a spike in respect of originating number of passengers in the 2018-19 fiscal with figures exceeding 10 lakh.
With the rise in passenger traffic, the gross water consumption at the junction is about 36.31 lakh litres per day, a report compiled by the railway authorities here. Water used is for cleaning the railway station and a mechanised cleaning contract is already in place through outsourcing.
Officials point out that a system for recycling water has been put in place at the sprawling broad gauge coaching complex close to the railway station where passenger coaches are regularly sent for cleaning.
According to a senior official, about 50,000 litres of water is being recycled every day and the treated water is used for cleaning the exteriors of coaches at the broad gauge coaching complex and for gardening.
In addition to provision of garbage bins for collection of solid waste generated every day and a plastic bottle crushing machine, an organic waste composter will be installed at the junction soon as part of the eco-friendly initiative. The composter will have a capacity to handle 500 kg of organic waste every day.
A special task force has been constituted to check open defecation in station premises and illegal dumping of waste on railway areas, the official said.
The team also comprises personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), which has been vested with the responsibility of ensuring safety and security of travellers and passenger areas.
A network of 67 surveillance cameras installed for the Railway Protection Force for maintaining round-the-clock vigil at the station and its vicinity is also being utilised for monitoring cleanliness at the station, which has seven platforms at present, said the official.
Passengers found indulging in acts affecting the cleanliness of the station are being penalised.
In accordance with the National Green Tribunal order, a separate webpage is being created for Tiruchi junction for suggestions and feedback from general public on a host of issues, including cleanliness and amenities, besides to ascertain their grievances so as to act accordingly, the senior official added.
(source : The Hindu)