Despite ban, plastic bags still clog airports, railway stations

New Delhi There might be a ban on plastic bags in the city, but they form about a third of the huge mountains of plastic waste generated by the three main railway stations and two airports in the Capital every day.

The figures are staggering. A Central Pollution Control Committee (CPCB) study has found that while Hazrat Nizamuddin, Old Delhi and New Delhi railway stations together churn out at least 6,758 kg of plastic waste every day, the international and domestic airports are not far behind with 3,662 kg per day.

But a closer look reveals that the density of waste generation is more at the airports. While the per capita plastics waste generation is approximately 9 gm/day at the railway stations, it is a high 69 gm/day at the airports. Despite the ban on plastic bags in the Capital, they form 30 per cent of the waste in the railway stations, the major chunk being plastic bottles. However, they form just 10 per cent of the waste generated at the airports, most probably because the shops inside enforce the ban on plastic bags. The main generators of plastic waste at the airports are the caterers, found the study.

“We found lots of plastic bags in the waste. This maybe because passengers coming from other parts of the country do not know the rules here. It the responsibility of the airports and railway stations to make this known,” says CPCB chairman S P Gautam.

But it is not just the passengers who are at fault. A random check revealed that plastic bags are being freely used at the airports and railway stations despite the Rs 1-lakh penalty on those flouting the ban.

But the major problem is plastic bottles. The CPCB now thinks proper waste disposal channels are necessary to get rid of them. “Given the quantity of waste being generated, we have recommended that the plastic be properly used. Ideally, it should be incinerated in cement kilns or used in making roads. Proper channels have to be made for re-use of waste, there is no other way. This is part of our recommendations,” he says.

From Express India

Coimbatore Railway Junction lacks safe drinking water supply

Coimbatore: Despite being the second largest revenue spinner next only to Chennai, passengers leaving and arriving Coimbatore Junction are provided only with bore well water drawn from Valankulam for drinking, as the Junction is yet to get Siruvani water supply.

The railway station fetches a daily revenue of Rs. 30 lakh and an annual revenue of Rs 110 crores through passenger and freight charges. Enquiries revealed that the Southern Railway approached the civic body one-and-a-half years back for a water supply connection, with a request that they need close to one lakh litres of water a day. Then, the civic body had asked the railway authorities to wait till the water scarcity gets over. Thereafter, efforts were never pursued for getting a connection.

Coimbatore Junction

Coimbatore Junction

The railway authorities are at present sourcing water from a bore well sunk near Valankulam, a polluted water body. The water drawn from Valankulam was supplied through 62 taps at the railway station. Earlier, there was a water pipeline at the Coimbatore Junction with a supply of 5,000 litres a day.

Owing to lack of facilities to store water, the connection became useless. Medical and Sanitation wing officials at the Coimbatore Junction said that though the water is drawn from the bore well, adequate attention was being paid to treat the water and make it safer for the public use. But, the same was being disputed and challenged by activists who have subjected the water for laboratory examination.

Considering the present storage level in Siruvani reservoir, Southern Railway authorities have renewed their efforts and are on the job of applying for a “bulk” water supply connection besides construction of tanks for storage.