As many as 179 illegal religious structures stand erected on platforms and yards across all zones of the Indian Railways, Parliament was apprised of by Union minister of railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday. These structures are present in the form of temples, dargahs (shrines) and mosques, and have existed since long, he said in a written reply.
“Efforts to remove these illegal religious structures from all station platforms or yards have been taken by the railway administration along with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) with the assistance of local administration and Government Railway Police (GRP),” Vaishnaw said in his reply.
He added that these structures have been recorded and monitoring is underway on a daily basis to make sure that “no further expansion or extension takes place.”
Speaking about the challenges the railway administration faces in order to remove such illegal religious structures, Vaishnaw said that they often experience public agitation. He added that owing to the matter being related to law and order, the encroachments are difficult to remove without the respective state government’s cooperation, which is found “lacking in most cases”.