Any wild guesses on the cleanest railway station in India? While I wouldn’t claim for the complete country. But, my personal experience with travelling says Secunderabad Railway Station is the cleanest railway station in the country. This, I say after a lot of observations and analysis in this regard. Before we move ahead a brushup on Indian railways:
Indian Railways is the fourth largest railway network in the world and a boon to the citizens of the country. With 119,630 km of total track coverage, it helps Indians cover the remotest of locations. With about 7216 railway stations it tries to ensure connectivity to as many locations in the country. The Indian Railways carried around 8.107 billion passengers annually in 2015-16. With this kind of national coverage, it is important that cleanliness becomes a part of its business Etho.
In an attempt to bring the dreams of 125 crore Indians to reality the Swacch rail Swaccha Bharat mission was introduced under the Swachha Bharat Abhiyan Initiative. The mission has been targeting different aspects of society. After Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya it is the turn of Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat. The mission aims at ensuring clean railway stations in the country. Activities such as cleanliness of stations, toilets, platforms etc. are being taken up as a part of this mission.
To understand the ongorund picture better the GoI conducted a survey on assessment of cleanliness in early 2016. This initative also helped find the top 10 cleanest railway station in India. As I travel extensively, I had the opportunity to pass via the Secunderabad station in Telengana and was just amazed at the cleanliness. Before, I get into further details, some basic facts about the station.
The Secunderabad station falls under the jurisdiction of the South Central Railways and is its zonal headquarters. Opened in 1874, roughly 225 trains pass via the station everyday connecting commuters to various places in the country. The station has also earned the ISO9001 for efficient management of trains, luggage booking, parcel and ticket bookings. The station has 10 platforms and can handle over 24 bogies each. The Local trains called Multi Modal Transport System (MMTS) connect the commuters locally to different parts of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
The reason why I found the station different was because of the following reasons:
1. Platform Cleanliness
The platforms are cleaned at regular intervals using the latest cleaning equipment. The platforms were sparkling clean with the cleaners taking extra care to clean every bit of the station. These are pictures of when I visited the station:
2. Track Cleanliness
The tracks were washed and maintained well. The regular sight of filth, food waste and rats running on the tracks were completely missing.
3. Digitalization of the platform
All the stalls on the platform accepted Paytm or a digital mode of payment. This was absolutely astonishing as this was completely in line with the PM’s dream of a digital India.
4. Two Bins System
The platform was well equipped with a two bin system. Green for biodegradable and Black for non-biodegradable and medical waste.
5. Digital system for Parking
The Secunderabad railway station consists of spacious car park and two wheeler parking facility. The automated parking system installed here, dispenses digitally coded magnetic tickets that help track the time of arrival and commuter is charged on exit based on the time recorded by the magnetic reader.
6. Water Recycling systems
In an attempt to conserve water, a water recycling plant was installed by the South Central Railway at Secunderabad. Maintenance of coaches, platforms in the station requires the use of water and the quantity of the same is estimated at 30,000 litres/ day. The recycling system collects water through tubes and sends it back for chemical treatment. This water is then re-used for the purpose of cleaning.
7. Awareness and Outreach
This is an important aspect of letting the common public know the value of public property. Outreach in the form of banners, advertisements, posters help people understand the importance of national initiatives and contribute towards them.
While the media plays a wonderful role of highlighting intricate aspects of what makes such stations claim to be the cleanest railway station in India, it is important for others to follow suit by taking necessary steps. This will not only make traveliing by rail a pleasent experience but presents a new and resurrgent India in the making. In case you have similar stories to share, please feel free to share it below.