Indian Railways waste management system draws CAG’s flak

Representational Photo by Free Walking Tour Salzburg on Unsplash

In its report to Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has criticised the Indian Railways’ (IR) waste management system in almost all sectors, including stations, coaching depots, maintenance and production units, and bio-medical waste generated in its hospitals.

It also stated that there is no single body or agency in the Indian Railways that is solely responsible for waste management-related issues, as well as no system of dedicated fund allocation specifically for waste management. 

Despite assurances that an Engineering and Health Management Directorate would be established at the zonal and divisional levels, compliance by the IR was only partial, said the report.

According to the report, the Railways failed to fully comply with the NGT’s directives to implement 24 verifiable indicators for waste management monitoring at 36 major stations. It also chastised railways for failing to meet the basic requirement of segregating biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. 

Facilities for solid waste management, such as wet waste processing, material recovery, the provision of a composting plant, waste segregation, and recycling centres, were not available at 70% of the stations and 90% of the coaching yards chosen for audit, reports The New Indian Express.

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