Tired of dirty trains and even dirtier loos on them? Here is some relief for passengers! Indian Railways has recently highlighted a number of initiatives that it has taken to maintain cleanliness in trains. According to Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry, maintaining cleanliness is a continuous process. In order to keep the coaches including the toilets properly maintained and in clean condition, Railway Ministry in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha has said that the national transporter has taken many steps. These include ‘Clean My Coach’, ‘Coach Mitra’ etc. Here are some of the major steps taken by the national transporter, so far, in order to maintain cleanliness in trains:
1) According to Railway Ministry, cleaning of train coaches, which also includes cleaning of toilets of trains is done at both ends including mechanized cleaning.
2) In order to clean coach toilets, doorways, aisles and passenger compartments during the run of the trains, more than 980 pairs of trains including Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and other important long distance Mail or Express trains have been provided with On Board Housekeeping Service (OBHS).
3) In around 970 pairs of important Superfast, Mail or Express long distance trains having the On Board Housekeeping Service facility, on demand ‘Clean My Coach’ service is also provided.
4) In around 800 OBHS trains ‘Coach Mitra’ facility has been provided as a single window interface in order to register all coach related requirements of passengers travelling in reserved coaches, such as cleaning, disinfection, linen, train lighting, air conditioning and watering of coaches.
5) For limited mechanized cleaning attention to selected trains, which includes cleaning of toilets during their scheduled stoppages en route at nominated stations, Indian Railways came up with a scheme called Clean Train Station (CTS).
6) The Railway Ministry claimed that bed linen (except blanket) provided for AC passengers are washed after every single use. Earlier, blankets were being cleaned at least once in two months. However, recently, washing frequency of blankets have been recently increased to minimum once in a month. In addition to this, the ministry also claimed that in order to improve the quality of washing of bed linen, 59 mechanized laundries have been set up in the Railways.
Clean trains and basic standards of hygiene are some of the basic expectations that people have from Indian Railways. While it remains to be seen whether the above mentioned steps listed by Indian Railways bear fruit and have a visible difference, as passengers it is also our responsibility to not litter and spit in trains and maintain basic cleanliness while using toilets on trains.