Indian Railways Current Affairs - 2019

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IR to recharge phones of passengers using Plastic Bottle Crushers at stations

Indian Railways will help recharge phones of passengers if they use plastic bottle crushing machines installed at stations. The step is in a bid to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to junk single use plastic. In PM Modi’s 2019 Independence Day speech he appealed to nation to eliminate single-use plastic and to find alternatives to plastic water bottles on a priority basis.

Key Highlights

Railways have already issued directions regarding ban on use of single-use plastic on its premises starting from 2 October 2019. A pledge will be administered by railways to cut use of plastic on October 2.

Indian Railways will be installing 400 bottle-crushing machines at selected stations, in which passengers wanting to use the feature will simply have to key in their phone number into machine and their phone will be recharged but the details of recharge will not be known immediately.

Steps Taken by Railways to curb Plastic Menace:

  • At present 160 bottle-crushing machines are available at 128 stations.
  • Plastic bottle shredders have been installed at Secunderabad railway station
  • Also, instructions have been given to railway staff for collecting all the used plastic bottles at railway stations and send them for recycling.
  • Railway ministry had already issued instructions to all vendors and staff across its network and premises to use reusable bags so as to reduce plastic footprint.
  • The South Western Railway zone is also in talks with some artisans from Karnataka to supply ‘kulhads’ for serving tea on trains, instead of plastic cups. Therefore, the initiative to shift towards plastic-free operations will financially help artisans and farmers as demand for their items or products will increase.

Indian Railways wins Best Ministry for Implementation of Swachhata Action Plan for 2018-19

On occasion of Swachh Mahotsav 2019 held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi (on 6 September 2019), President of India Ram Nath Kovind presented an award to Indian Railways as Best Ministries for Implementation of Swachhata Action Plan for 2018-19.

Key Highlights

Award was received by Chairman of Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav, on behalf of the Indian Railways. He regularly conducts meetings with General Managers of Zonal Railways through video conferencing to discuss Swacchata subject.

President kovind also presented Best Swachh iconic Place award to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) Mumbai under Swachh Bharat Mission initiative. The award will be received by Ministry of Railways jointly along with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partner. The 3 best stations as per Cleanliness Ranking Survey for 2018 i.e. Jaipur, Jodhpur and Tirupati were also awarded.

STEPS TAKEN BY RAILWAYS TO MAINTAIN CLEANLINESS

Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal has been persuading all Railway officials to Make Cleanliness an Organisational Culture.

Cleanliness Drive: Recently Railways Minister directed all Railway officials to observe a special 10 days cleanliness drive for trains and stations starting from 2 September 2019. These perpetual drives are also monitored by uploading of selected photographs on E-Drishti and Minister’s dashboard.

Feedback from commuters: is further used to promote cleanliness campaign of railways, which together is biggest service provisioning public place in India.

Indian Railways had spent nearly Rs.3000 Crore on cleanliness drives on its various properties during 2018-19.

What is Swachhata Action Plan (SAP)?

It is one of flagship initiatives of Prime Minister Naredra Modi towards making Swachh

Bharat everyone’s business.

Launched: SAP was formally launched on 1 April 2017, with active participation of 72 Ministries and Departments. It has brought all Ministries and Departments under one umbrella and contributed towards achieving Swachh Bharat by 2019.

During 1st year of implementation during Financial Year 2017-18, Ministries and Departments implemented multiple innovative ideas along with making financial contribution of over Rs.18000 crore.

SAP is being monitored at the level of Committee of Secretaries led by Cabinet Secretary.

SAP has seen a multi-dimensional range of activities including adopting villages, support for sanitation infrastructure, solid and liquid waste management, cleaner monuments, school sanitation, better sanitation in hospitals and iconic places etc.

Nodal agency: for SAP is Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. It has been engaged with SAP implementing Ministries and Departments to provide actionable ideas, support implementation as needed and reporting and monitoring through online portal www.swachhataactionplan.com.