It is a common sight in railway stations to see coffee cups on the railway tracks, empty chips/biscuit covers/wrappers on the platforms and most importantly, overflowing trash bins. But, Kovilpatti Railway Station is an exception. Kovilpatti is a well known city in South Tamilnadu. Recently, I boarded a train from Kovilpatti Railway Station. I was amazed by the cleanliness of the Kovilpatti Railway Station.
There was absolutely no trash in Kovilpatti Railway Station - be it on the platforms as well as on the railway tracks. I always believed that rules alone cannot change people’s behavior. In addition to coming up with rules, you need to educate people, and make it simple/easy for people to follow the rules. For example, in Kovilpatti Railway Station, I noticed that there are multiple sign boards educating the passengers to keep the railway station clean. In addition, there were trash bins kept at least once every 100 ft. This makes it easy for people to dump trash in a trash bin, nearby.
Any shop that sells food items has a trash bin nearby. Also, there is a sign board that clearly lists down the various rules which have to be followed by the food vendor - as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) policies. They have also mentioned the owner’s phone number and FSSAI phone number for filing a compliant - if the passengers found that the shop keepers are violating any of the rules.
Also read: A ban on spitting pan in public places - who enforces it?
It is not just the cleanliness of the station that stood out. The authorities have worked hard to provide a great overall experience to the passengers. The station has a good parking facility and they charge just Rs.10. There is a chart on the wall near the entrance of the railway station which clearly describes the location of various coaches in the platform, for different trains. There is also abundant seating space in the railway station. In fact, they have a separate seating area for second class passengers. That facility is well maintained too (including the rest rooms that are maintained very clean). If there is one challenge, it is the number of mosquitoes. You cannot escape from the mosquito bite. I don’t know what authorities can do for that, given the vegetation around the station.
(Also read: Traveling near restrooms in Train isn't fun)
The drinking water taps at the station are functional too - which is again a rare thing to see in such railway stations.
I get thrilled when I see a clean public place... as it takes lots of efforts/support from both the authorities and the public. I hope Kovilpatti Railway Station - continues to be super clean. Waiting for a day when our Chennai Egmore and Chennai Central becomes like Kovilpatti Railway Station.
(Also read: If I don't care, who will care)
Saro's R2I Blog covers Return to India (R2I) topics such as R2I planning, R2I checklist, R2I Jobs, R2I Salaries, R2I Schools and Post R2I life experiences in India
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
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