New Delhi: Often criticised for being lax on cleanliness, Railways Minister has decided to make the most of 'Swachh Bharat Mission' by involving his fellow Members of Parliament in leading the campaign to spruce up the railways premises and properties.
"At the Union Cabinet meeting yesterday, I also requested the Ministers to visit one of the railway stations in their constituency, and all of my cabinet colleagues have agreed to participate and lead the campaign on October 2," Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda told reporters here.
The 'Swachh Bharat Mission' would be launched across the country on October 2.
Gowda said he had sent letters to the MPs to join railways in its cleanliness drive while an action plan would be drawn to sustain the initiative.
Every year, Railways receives maximum number of complaints about untidy stations and lack of cleanliness in trains. It also faces problem of ensuring cleanliness of tracks.
Gowda said he has requested Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu yesterday to call a meeting of authorities of the local bodies and involve them in ensuring cleanliness of the railway tracks, passing through cities, like Delhi.
He also favoured to penalise those who litter the railway tracks. "Railways tracks are used by everyone to dump garbage... bringing a bad name to the Railways. They should be penalised heavily," the Minister said.
As part of the drive, Zonal railways have been asked to ensure that tracks located between stations in city area were cleared of debris, garbage and plastic waste by September 28.
The Minister said a special grant of Rs 1,000 per platform would be extended to smaller D and E category stations on the campaign day on October 2 in addition to the regular arrangement of cleaning.
Railway board members along with 250 officers have been nominated to visit several stations over Zonal railways to participate in the cleanliness drive and a year-long action plan would be drawn to sustain the campaign, the Minister added.
Advocating strict actions against people who litter the stations, he said, as a Minister, he would conduct surprise checks in some of the stations to make a personal assessment of the cleanliness drive undertaken.
The mission would be extended to all railway properties including its educational institutions, hospitals and staff colonies.