National Green Tribunal summons CRB after official files ‘false’ report

New Delhi: “Shocked” at the “irresponsible” attitude of the Railways, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the Chairman of the Railway Board to be present at the next date of hearing after a senior official filed a “false affidavit” before the tribunal.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by one Saloni Singh regarding the terrible state of hygiene and cleanliness at railway stations and on tracks.

The NGT bench, in its order on Monday, said, “We have no hesitation in observing that all the Railways authorities are just trying to avoid compliance with the directions on one pretext or the other to the extent that even senior officials like the chief commercial manager are filing a false affidavit.”

In its order, the NGT said the chief commercial manager filed an affidavit and “admitted” that he has not “fully verified the contents of the affidavit”.

The affidavit pertained to the Railways’ efforts in keeping its premises and platforms clean in compliance with the Tribunal’s earlier orders.  In its previous order, the NGT had directed the Railways, and contractors engaged by it for cleaning, to install dustbins at all railway stations.

The tribunal said, “Let the Chairman of the Railway Board along with the two officials who have filed the false affidavits and Head of Department of that organisation be present before the tribunal on the next date of hearing with records with regard to the platforms and railway tracks, which are a continuous source of environmental pollution causing serious health hazards.” The matter has been listed for March 9.

While reiterating that “any person found littering be fined immediately”, it had asked for the list of names and addresses of persons found littering so that they could be issued showcause notices by the NGT as to why they should be not fined Rs 5,000 for polluting the environment.

In its most recent order, the NGT said there was “utter failure on the part of the officials concerned of the Railways and its different organisations with regard to compliance of directions issued by the Tribunal from time to time”.