The South Central Railway (SCR) conducted a day-long drive across railway stations, platforms, coaches on Wednesday. In this process they caught least 50 catering stalls and vendors selling inferior quality bottled drinking water and pouches. All the vendors were immediately imposed fine and issued warning.
The checks were conducted at 153 stations and 12 trains as part of the ongoing nine-day long Swachhta Saptah under the 'Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Mission', being carried out from September 17 to 25 across the zone. As part of the drive, checks are being conducted on quality of drinking water, anti-littering and general cleanliness standards in stations and trains. A total of 153 officials from the SCR zone were involved in conducting tests of PH levels, total dissolved solids (TDS) level and residual chlorine levels in water as well as littering around taps and RO plants.
Officials, who went about conducting tests at stalls and RO plants, said that “many of the samples tested were not original branded bottled water. Almost all water pouches tested had unpurified water and many water bottles too did not have purified water. Most of these vendors were operating at stations in twin cities. They were given a warning and told to mend their ways, apart from imposing a fine of Rs 50,000 plus. In case of a repeat offence, we will blacklist them," said a senior official involved in the drive.
However, SCR authorities did not reveal these details in the official statement issued on the last four days of the drive. The statement, instead, said, "804 persons were booked in anti-littering drive conducted at 71 stations and an amount of Rs 1.59 lakh was collected during the drive”. It further said, "This special outreach programme is intended to spread wider awareness on sanitation and cleanliness on rail premises and make hygiene a habit amongst the travelling public."
Meanwhile, a whopping Rs 6.5 lakh was collected through fines primarily for littering from 3,215 people, who were booked in the last four days.
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BY M. DIVYA SRI