CAG red flags railways’ waste management system

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Representational Image File/ GK

New Delhi, Aug 8: The Comptroller and Auditor General has criticised the railways over its waste management system in almost all sectors from stations, coaching depots, maintenance and production units as well as bio-medical waste generated in its hospitals.

The CAG report on Waste Management in Indian Railways was presented in Parliament on Monday.

It also pointed out that there is no single body or agency in the Indian Railways solely responsible for handling waste management related issues, adding that there is no system of dedicated fund allocation specifically for waste management.

Despite an assurance to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for setting up Engineering and Health Management directorate at the zonal and at the divisional level, compliance by the Indian Railways (IR) was partial.

Accountable entities at the railway stations, divisions and at the zonal level were not constituted in 38.60 per cent of the stations test checked. In 59 stations out of 109 selected for audit, directives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for obtaining Consent to Establish (CTEs) from related State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) were not complied with (as of 31 July 2021), the report stated.

The report also said the national transporter failed to fully comply with directives of the NGT for implementing 24 verifiable indicators for monitoring of waste management at 36 major stations.

In 65 other major stations selected, the progress on implementation of verifiable indicators was not encouraging, it said.

Segregated waste collected from pantry cars and trains with on board housekeeping services (OBHS) was not unloaded in secured bags in 45 per cent test checked stations. In 86 per cent test checked stations, waste collected from pantry cars or OBHS trains was not dumped in separate assigned dustbins, the report said.

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