Deal to set up toilets at 100 railway stations

first_imgKolkata: Eastern Railway signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Eastern Coal Fields and RITES Ltd for setting up toilets with all the modern facilities at 100 railway stations in the state.The toilets will come up at various stations under the jurisdiction of Eastern Railway. The deal was signed at the Fairlie Place on Tuesday between the senior officials of the Eastern Railways and their counterparts in the Eastern Coal Fields and RITES. One of the main purposes of the initiative is to provide an easier access to toilets at the station and adjoining areas. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaApart from the passengers travelling in trains, the other people who put up stalls at various railway stations and adjacent areas can also use the toilets. The Eastern Coal Fields Ltd will provide financial support as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) while the RITES will play its part as an implementing agency. The Eastern Railways will provide land and other logistic support. Initially the passengers and others need not to pay any charge for using the toilets. After six months the Eastern Railway will take over the maintenance works of the toilets. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersSuch projects have already taken up in various parts of the country as a part of the Swachh Bharat campaign. Eastern Railway has been trying to involve every stakeholder of railways in the cleanliness drive. The setting up toilets in and around the stations will check the tendency of open defecation by some people. The total cost of the project will be around Rs 26 crore. Other than the modern facilities, all the toilets will have a sanitary napkin vending machine and a condom vending machine. People will be able to get napkins and condoms at these toilets but they have to pay the charge. These toilets will have different chambers for males, females and for those who are physically-challenged. “This is a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission initiated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Eastern Railways have given a great stress on the cleanliness of stations and adjoining areas. “These toilets will have all the modern facilities apart from a napkin and condom vending machine,” additional general manager, Eastern Railway, SS Gehlot said.last_img read more

UN refugee agency steps up support as winter bites for displaced in

UNHCR distributes winter relief items to Hasansham camp in Iraq in November 2016. UNHCR/Bathoul Ahmed Khazer N-1 IDP camp for internally displaced people from Mosul. UNHCR/Jordi Matas ‹ › “I burn plastic and cardboard in order to get some warmth during the winter. We barely survive here,” said a 70-year-old Aisha, who lives in an unfinished building converted into a shelter for internally displaced people in hard-to-reach Qudsaya, a mountain town a few kilometres from Damascus in Syria. She is among millions of people affected by the wars in Syria and Iraq, who lost their homes, and are terrified by the upcoming winter months. “Overall, assistance is increasingly moving towards cash, which offers flexibility and independence to recipients. Regionally, half of displaced Syrians being targeted, or 1.6 million people, will receive some form of cash assistance. For displaced Iraqis, 75 per cent will benefit from cash payments,” stated Mr. Saltmarsh, adding that the distribution of winter items is underway, including clothing, blankets, heating fuel, insulation materials and other basics. With winter approaching and temperatures falling, the United Nations refugee agency is preparing to open more camps and increase life-saving assistance to support the nearly 15 million people displaced by fighting in Iraq and Syria.The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that the existing camps in Iraq are rapidly filling up, and it might become a struggle to find new sites and accommodate more people. UNHCR currently has six camps open – in Erbil, Duhok, Kirkuk and Salah Al-din governorates. The camps in Erbil and Duhok alone host more than 47,485 displaced Iraqis, or 68 per cent of the almost 70,000 Iraqis who have fled Mosul since a military offensive began on October 17. The numbers fleeing the city have been stable in recent days, but could climb again if clashes in the city intensify and safe routes out emerge.According to UNHCR spokesperson, Matthew Saltmarsh, UNHCR is working very hard to find shelter solutions and provide enough assistance to assist displaced Iraqis, with a plan to reach 1.2 million people in the next few months. UNHCR has launched a ‘Winter Assistance Plan’ for 2016-2017 to raise money for accommodation of displaced people and refugees in countries like Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq. But the $355 million plan has been only partially funded. The winter assistance in Syria has already reached 800,000 people, with a budget of $30 million. Iraq’s Al Alam Camp for internally displaced people. UNHCR/Nasreddine Touaibia Internally displaced Iraqis flee fighting in Mosul. UNHCR/Ivor Prickett read more