Mumbai: Central Railway's Mumbai Division has started a unique initiative towards ensuring a plastic-free environment on the railway premises. The initiative will involve, among other things, stalls in suburban stations offering paper bags to customers purchasing snacks and other edibles from them.
"Most of the ready-to -eat snacks such as potato chips available at the station are now packed in plastic bags. Most passengers purchase these items from the stalls and litter the station and the tracks with the wrappers,” said a senior railway official.
“The Mumbai Division of Central Railway has 349 stalls, all of which will gradually be covered under this initiative,” said a Central Railway official. In the first phase major suburban stations will be covered, the official said.
“This initiative has been started to making railway premises plastic free. The staff at the catering stalls at the stations have been sensitized by the divisional railway manager of Mumbai Division to serve and sell food in eco-friendly paper bags instead of plastic bags,” said a Central Railway officer who is monitoring the initiative.
“The employees working at all the stalls have been given the status of 'Safai Yoddha' and are being encouraged to actively participate in this campaign. Our esteemed customers are also being requested to cooperate in this campaign through various media. This will not only help keep the environment clean but will also solve the problem of water logging during the rainy season because of plastic bags that clog the drainage system,” he said.
However, stall operators saidthe implementation of this initiative is not easy. “We are trying our best to implement this initiative and offering paper bags to all customers but most of customers are not very cooperative,” said Mohammad Rafeeq, who works as a salesman at a multipurpose stall at the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal (CSMT).
“When people ask for chips or other packed items, I always seek to change the packing, but very few of them accept,” said Masood Ali, a salesman at a food stall of CSMT.
A senior officer of Central Railway said the cost of the paper bag is being taken care of by stall owners.
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