Indian Railways plans to get rid of its garbage in a profitable waySanghamitra Kar
Eager to generate non-fare revenue from various sources, Indian Railways is firming up proposals to sell the garbage generated at stations across the country.
We are examining a proposal from a waste management group which has offered Rs 1.50 per kg for garbage to be collected at railway stations, said a senior railway official involved in exploring various avenues for generating non-tariff revenues.
Railways has created a separate Non-Fare Revenue Directorate to find ways for generating substantial revenue from sources other than passenger fares and freight. The waste management company will collect the garbage from stations round-the-clock.
The collection and disposal of garbage will be the company’s responsibility. It can be utilised for generating energy and manure, the official said.
Risk insurance cover for workers involved in garbage collection, provisions of black plastic bags for carrying it from dustbins at stations will be the responsibility of the waste management company, according to the proposal.
The company has offered to take up garbage collection at 12 stations, including Amritsar, Ambala, Haridwar, Jammu, Katra, Dehradun, Moradabad, Saharanpur, CST, Mumbai Central and Dadar. It will serve the dual purpose of maintaining cleanliness at stations and also generate revenue for railways, he said.
A substantial amount of solid waste is generated by passengers, visitors, vendors and staff. The solid waste consists of biodegradable as well as non-biodegradable materials. At present solid waste generated at the stations is transferred to the nearest designated location of municipality and, in this process, a considerable effort and physical transportation is required. The delay in transfer also causes early degradation leading to unhygienic conditions within the railway premises.
Currently a biomethanation plant is being set up at New Delhi station in 15,000 sqm area to handle 15 tonne of municipal solid waste per day. The plant will produce electricity and manure.