Business Standard

To spread message of cleanliness, PM to flag off Swachhagraha Express

IANS  |  New Delhi 

To commemorate 100 years of the Satyagraha, Narendra is likely to flag off Swachhagraha Express, an exhibition train, from in next month to re-emphasise the spirit of cleanliness, or Swachhata, a value that was close to Mahatma Gandhi's heart.

As part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the 14-coach train is scheduled to be launched by Indian Railways on April 10 to showcase the cleaning-up efforts undertaken till date by the government and also to generate greater awareness towards cleanliness in the run-up to the 150th birth anniversary of in 2019.

The Swachhagraha Express, exhibiting various aspects of the cleanliness drive and its benefits, will travel in six months to 60 stations across the country.

A collaborative effort between the ministries of railways and drinking water and sanitation, will mostly touch remote stations. Its itinerary is now being finalised. The train's journey is expected to dovetail into Modi's pet

Consequent to the launch of the on October 2, 2014, by Modi, the Railways had launched "Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat" in its bid to keep trains and stations clean.

As stated by the government, the aim of the is to achieve the vision of a "Clean India" by October 2, 2019, the 150th birthday of and the government will use it to leverage this historic occasion to build a clean

"The purpose of is to reach out to far-flung areas, creating awareness about cleanliness, which was also a key element of the movement," said a involved with the project.

The coaches of the train will feature a detailed account of the milestones and progress achieved under the and subjects such as water, hygiene and sanitation will be elaborated upon.

There will be messages on cleanliness, adverse effects on environment due to open defecation, use and maintenance of toilets, awareness about hygiene, importance of clean water in public health, and many such related issues which will be showcased to the people, including schoolchildren, during the six-month journey.

Drawing a parallel with the success of in making the freedom struggle a people's movement, the has, on several occasions, emphasised that the objectives of the can only be achieved by making it a people's movement.

The Railways, with its vast network, plays a crucial role in the To this end, a series of measures to improve the cleanliness of stations were announced in succesive budgets since 2015. (The railway budget was merged with the general budget last year.)

The state-run transporter has also made operational a "Swachh Rail" portal to showcase cleanliness rankings of various stations and the methodology adopted for the rankings.

Railway tracks along many stretches resemble garbage dumps with leftover food, plastic bottles and paper boxes strewn all over. Discharge of human waste from trains is also a cause for concern.

"We have made all-out efforts to keep the tracks, stations clean as part of the cleanliness campaign," said the

Replacing existing toilets in trains with bio-toilets and preventing open discharge on tracks are some of the measures taken to keep rail premises clean.

Several railway divisions have pressed into for cleaning of tracks near stations. Besides, installation of bio-toilets in several trains have reduced the discharge of human waste on the tracks.

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First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 12:04 IST