• Mumbai: BMC wants trains to chug along without issue this monsoon

    Shashank Rao and Laxman SinghMumbaiMay 19, 2017, 11:00 IST

    File photo of a train passing through Kanjur Marg railway station
    File photo of a train passing through Kanjur Marg railway station

    The BMC would like to believe that it is leaving no stone unturned in a bid to ensure that this monsoon season, Mumbai is not flooded at the first sight of rain. So, apart from book-ending Rs 4.15 crore to the Central and Western Railways to clean the nullahs and drainages along the tracks, it is also mulling appointing clean-up marshals at railway stations to ensure cleanliness.

    Conception at inspection
    Additionally, on Thursday, the top bosses of both CR and BMC, including CR GM, DK Sharma and civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta, conducted a joint inspection on the neglected Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus-Mankhurd route.

    It was during the inspection that the idea of clean-up marshals came up, an ironic development in light of Mumbai's drastic drop in the Swachh Bharat index. "We have sent a proposal to the Railway Board in Delhi, as it's a policy matter," said Ravinder Goyal, DRM Mumbai, CR.

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    Currently, clean-up marshals have no jurisdiction to work at railway premises or the authority to fine people. The marshals outside station premises are BMC's, but they can't levy fines on people using the locals. Sources said that this would need amendment in the Railway Act itself. "For misdemeanours inside station premises, the station masters and ticket checkers can fine people for spitting and littering. However, they are busier catching ticket less travelers, which is a priority," said another CR official.

    More checks to follow
    The authorities also checked the cross drains along the CR at Sandhurst Road, Wadala, Govandi, Chembur, Reay Road, Masjid, GTB Nagar, Chembur and Kurla. They also checked the encroachments and solid waste collection along the tracks and drains, which is normally the primary cause of water logging on tracks during monsoon.

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    Until May 31, they will complete two rounds of checks and the final one will take place after the first round of major showers.

    What of the roads?
    Meanwhile, on the issue of road repair work and nullah cleaning, Mehta said, "All the incomplete road repair works will be brought to a safe stage before monsoon. Nullah silts kept on the road will be cleared soon. We allow silt to dry up for two days so that it can be transported with less cost."

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    Mayor unhappy with nullah cleaning
    Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar visited a few spots across the city on Thursday and expressed unhappiness over the work finished until now. He then directed the civic body to get additional workforce to speed up the process to complete it before monsoon. Even as Shiv Sena head Uddhav Thackray had stated that nullah cleaning work is on schedule; the mayor's visit has come as a wake-up call to hasten the process.

    What's the difference?
    The TCs staff and station masters can levy fines of upto Rs 200 on commuters caught spitting and throwing garbage on tracks, platforms or station premises, whereas the clean-up marshals can fine up to Rs 500.

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