Railways consistently took various measures to maintain a clean environment not only at stations & it’s surrounding but also the railway tracks. Central Railway’s Mumbai Suburban network is one of the largest suburban rail networks in the world, with five corridors of 336 Route Kms. In order to keep the city’s track clean, Central Railway runs Swachhta Rath to collect and clean the muck and garbage on the tracks between CSMT to Kalyan on mainline and CSMT to Mankhurd on harbour line. During the last 12 months, 95,000 cubic metres of muck/garbage was cleared from the tracks.
The muck and garbage dumped along the tracks which deface the tracks but also clogs the drainages crossing under it, leading to water-logging on tracks during monsoon. These Raths used to operate only during mid-night occasionally when the services were less, but now taking the advantage of the lockdown, Central Railway operated the Raths during day time also. The muck and garbage cleaned are packed in gunny bags which are then loaded onto the Rath specials train. Central Railway runs two EMU Swachhta Rath trains, one each on the mainline and harbour line. In addition to this, 3 BRNs (Flat type of wagons) are operated, as and when required, whenever the muck is removed with the help of JCB machines.
The Swachhta Rath has become popular when Kaun Banega Crorepati’s (KBC) anchor Shri Amitabh Bachhan asked a 25 lakh rupees prize money question about the ‘muck special train’ to Magsaysay Award winners Prakash Baba Amte and his wife Mandakini Amte, as they successfully answered the question.
Predominantly, the Swachhta Rath was used where the hutments/ slums situated between CSMT – Kalyan at Parsik Tunnel on both sides ends, Dombivli Station CSMT end on Slow local line side, Vikhroli, between Matunga – Sion at Dhobi ghat, Dharavi and the stretch between CSMT – Masjid – Sandhurst Road. On Harbour line between CSMT to Mankhurd is Ravli junction between Wadala and King’s Circle, Mahim, between Chembur and Mankhurd, between Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar and Ravli section.
While Railways appeal to the public not to pollute or throw waste onto the tracks, the operation of Swachhta Rath trains to clean that garbage exemplifies Central Railway’s continuous endeavour to provide a cleaner environment to Mumbaikars.