From 'Coach Mitra', OBHS and mechanised cleaning, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways listed some of its major initiatives undertaken towards the improvement in standards and cleanliness of toilets in trains and at railway stations.
Indian Railways looks to ensure cleanliness in toilets: Whether it is on railway stations or in trains, toilets on the Indian Railways network are a common compliant point for passengers. Choking, stink, water problems etc – the list of issues is endless. Looking to address this long-standing grievance of passengers, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways says it is taking several steps. In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the Ministry of Railways listed some of its major initiatives undertaken towards the improvement in standards and cleanliness of toilets in trains and at railway stations. These are:
- Installation of bio-toilets
Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, it has been planned to install bio-toilets in the entire broad-gauge coaching fleet of Indian Railways by 2019, in order to avoid dropping of toilet waste on platform lines and on track.
- Provision of new add-ons
Dustbins are being provided in both non AC coaches and AC coaches. Along with dustbins, health faucets and a mug arranged with a chain will be installed in all new AC and non-AC coaches. Coach toilets have been upgraded in identified rakes.
- On Board Housekeeping Service (OBHS)
This facility has been provided in more than 1050 pairs of trains including Rajdhani, Shatabdi Express and other important long distance Mail/Express trains. It allows for cleaning of not only toilets but also passenger compartment areas, doorwats and aisles during the run of trains.
- ‘Coach Mitra’
This facility has been introduced in about 1000 pairs of OBHS trains. ‘Coach Mitra’ is actually a single window interface to register coach related requirements of passengers such as cleaning, disinfection, linen, train lighting, air conditioning and watering of coaches.
- Operation of public toilets through ‘Pay and Use’ basis at railway stations
The public toilets at railway stations, both deluxe and normal, with ladies and gents units, will be made operational through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model on ‘Pay and Use’ basis. The Zonal Railways network have been authorized regarding the operation and maintenance, including cleanliness of the ‘Pay and Use’ toilets through contracts. Currently, more than 900 stations have Normal Pay and Use toilets and about 60 stations have Deluxe Pay and Use toilets.
- Separate toilets for men and women
Separate toilets for men and women are made available as per norms at all ‘A1’, ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘D’ category railway stations. Since upgradation of amenities at stations including toilets is a continuous process so, 2894 toilets were constructed and improved in the past four years, and further improvement in this regard is now being undertaken depending upon the need, volume of the passenger traffic and priority, subject to availability of funds.
- Mechanised Cleaning
The provision of integrated mechanised cleaning contracts with improved processes and machinery at major railway stations including toilets has been intensified by Indian Railways. Presently, mechanised cleaning is done at nearly 520 stations.The cleaning of coaches including toilets at both ends will also be done by mechanised cleaning through professional agencies at around 145 coaching depots.
- Special Cleanliness Campaign
A special cleanliness campaign under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched on 2nd October, 2014. Under this, regular intensive campaigns and awareness drives have been organised with the sole objective to achieve significant and sustainable improvements in cleanliness standards at railway stations and trains.