The reckless burning of garbage and non-degradable plastic materials along the railway tracks has emerged as a fresh safety threat compelling the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to initiate stringent legal action. Cases have already been registered against two persons, in Kozhikode district alone, who allegedly set afire a huge quantity of waste along the railway tracks, ignoring safety risks.
RPF officials say the illegal practice can even endanger the safety of a number of goods trains transporting highly inflammable fuels. A special squad has been constituted under RPF to instantly track such incidents and take action, they add. In many locations in northern Kerala, the space along the railway tracks is slowly emerging as a rubbish dump for some of the urban traders and local residents.
Track maintenance workers, cleaning staff, and gatekeepers have been asked to keep an eye on all illegal activities along railway tracks. The local police also will conduct inspections within their limits. Efforts are on to ensure the support of residents’ forums to create awareness about the issue. Railway security wing officials say fire along the railway track can even affect the signalling systems for trains. Any such incident can even lead to the total disruption of train schedules and create a headache for passengers, they point out.
An RPF official says the two incidents they tracked recently during safety inspections were from Vadakara and Chorode and the persons were frequently involved in the illegal practice. He says checking will be intensified under the leadership of an RPF Sub Inspector in the northern Kerala region