Delhi: Can’t fight paan stains? Paint the wall red!

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 23, 2015

Delhi collects penalties against litter, smoking 

Tired of repeatedly cleaning up paan (betel) stains on the white walls of the Old Delhi railway station, officials have decided to paint portions of the wall in red to camouflage paan stains.

This is not the only initiative taken by the officials to clean the Old Delhi station near Red Fort, who have started a penalty drive against littering and smoking with fines of up to Rs 500. As a result, over Rs 1 lakh has been collected in just 22 days of this month, from about 1,000 cases of littering (almost Rs 98,000) and 38 cases of smoking (Rs 7,600), station manager Virendra Kumar told BusinessLine.

The station, whose façade is already painted in red and white and has an old world charm, sees about two lakh passengers during peak season and an average of one lakh passengers during the day.

Since January, the station has collected some Rs 5.36 lakh. However, tired railway officials – many of them ticket inspectors – in charge of collecting penalties end up facing not just resistance but also problems of fixing responsibility of who littered in the first place.

Many officials rue the comparison with the Delhi Metro stations that are much cleaner, pointing out that it is a relatively closed system and does not allow people to eat, sleep and live on stations 24 hours a day.

“It’s one thing if we catch them red-handed. But many a times, we have difficulties in making people own up on who has littered the place,” said Charan Singh, chief ticket inspector.

In the past 12 hours, the railway station has also started a drive under which some seven/eight truck loads of waste has been removed to Ghazipur. A lot of waste was removed using two flat wagons, said Additional Divisional Railway Manager Dimpy Garg, adding that “we are going to extend the drive by another 24 hours.”

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Published on June 23, 2015
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