Why not keep Kandy clean?
"By the most experienced travellers, Kandy is usually awarded the high distinction of being the most picturesque spot of the British Empire," states H.W. Cave whose work has been republished under the title ‘Ceylon along the Rail Track’.
Today, one may have some reservations about this claim made nearly a hundred years ago, but there is no doubt that this is still one of the beautiful towns on earth. This is evident from what is expressed by hundreds of tourists who come to the Kandy station at the end of their visit.
I know that the Chief Minister and Mayor have many plans to preserve the city's natural beauty whilst developing it as a modern city. But some people pay little heed to the development taking place around us.
The staff strive day and night to keep the Kandy railway station neat, clean and beautiful with generous assistance from passengers, rail-enthusiasts and well-wishers.
They collect a huge heap of garbage including hundreds of yoghurt cups, water bottles and dozens of empty arrack bottles, all thrown on the ground while the dust bins are empty.
Dust bins are placed at every convenient place and announcements are made occasionally over the public address system requesting passengers not to throw litter everywhere. Even when the request is being announced, one can see some uncaring people throwing wrapping papers, polythene bags and banana and orange peel on the platform.
Toilets in the ladies’ waiting rooms get clogged up with sanitary towels, in spite of requests to dispose of them in the dust bins .
Some people dump garbage in the flower pots, spit betel chew or pluck the flowers and break the leaves.
Most passengers appreciate the efforts of the present station staff to keep this station clean and beautiful, without a single cent spent from the taxpayers' money; but there are a few who have no qualms about kicking the flower pots and smashing the dust bins when their train gets late.