If the number of people fined for littering and spitting on Western Railway premises is anything to go by, then Vasai is the spitting and littering capital of WR. The station, among the busiest on WR’s suburban network, routinely accounts for about a fourth of all people caught on WR stations for such activities.
On Monday, of the 65 people fined by railway staff for dirtying station premises between Churchgate and Virar, 18 were from Vasai. On Tuesday, when the total number of people fined between Churchgate and Virar jumped to 90, the biggest chunk of offenders — 23 — were from Vasai.
In a year, WR’s railway staff, mainly stationmasters and ticket-checkers, make around 4,000 cases under section 198 of the Railway Act and also the newer Indian Railways (penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at railway premises) Rules, 2012. In 2013, its staff made out 4,000 cases on the suburban network, and in 2014, the number went up to 4,700, said officials.
Speaking to dna, Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager, WR, said Vasai’s infamy as the number one station for spitting and littering will have to be looked into. “It could be because a lot of mainline trains stop there. Nonetheless, the numbers are high and, hence, I will ask the station staff to work towards sensitising commuters there to maintain cleanliness,” said Kumar.
A silver lining for railway officials is that big stations on the network — Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Dadar and Bandra — throw up minimal cases daily. However, as a section of officials pointed out, the low numbers from these big stations could be because the railway staff might not be getting time from running the station, particularly keeping a tab on ticketless travellers, to pay attention to commuters indulging in littering and spitting.
According to rules…
The Indian Railways (penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at railway premises) Rules, 2012, levy a fine of Rs500 if you…
- Throw or deposit litter in any occupied or unoccupied railway premises or the carriage except in authorised places.
- Cook, bathe, spit, urinate, defecate, feed animal or birds, repair or wash vehicles, wash utensils or clothes in any railway premises.
- Paste or put up any poster or write or draw anything or matter in any compartment or carriage of the railways or any premises thereof, without any lawful authority.
- Indulge in defacing railway property.
Officials authorised to collect fine mentioned in these rules are…
- The stationmaster or station manager
- An officer not below the rank of ticket collector of the commercial department, or an officer of equivalent rank of the operating department
- Any other official(s) authorised by the railway administration for the purpose of implementing these rules