According to the data for the first ten months of the current year, Southern Railway division — which covers Kerala and Tamil Nadu — was able to fine only 771 people for littering, while Northern Railway fined 63,911 people in the same period — a difference of 83 times.
Northern Railway, which comprises Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and some parts of Uttar Pradesh, was able to collect Rs 78 lakh in fines, while Southern Railway collected just Rs 2 lakh.
Western Railway, which comprises Gujarat and North Western Maharashtra, too was well ahead of most other zones when it came to fining people for littering. The division collected nearly Rs 93.83 lakh during the ten months by fining almost 53,000 people.
South Western Railway, which more or less coincides the state of Karnataka except the Konkan line, was also far behind other railway zones in penalizing people for littering. During the ten months, the zone collected only around Rs 20 lakh from 9,172 offenders (see chart).
Besides Northern and Western Railway zones, other top performers in collecting fines included North Central, which lies almost entirely in Uttar Pradesh with its headquarters at Allahabad. This division, despite being comparatively smaller than others, was able to collect Rs 62.5 lakh from 51,330 offenders.
On the other hand, North East Frontier Railway, which covers the North Eastern states including Assam, was also far behind when it came to fining those who littered.
The division collected just Rs 7.4 lakh from 6,110 offenders during the ten months.
The Indian Railways has putting a lot of emphasis on keeping its railway stations clean in recent years, in light of the ‘Swachh Bharat’ or Clean India mission started by the Narendra Modi government.
The condition of railway stations has improved by leaps and bounds in the last 3-4 years as the Railway Authorities have cracked down on people throwing empty food packets and water bottles around. Spitting too has come down in recent years.