Chennai: In the Trains Cleanliness Survey 2018, conducted by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Southern Railway, was ranked the top in ‘other than premium trains’ category. The survey, according to senior railway officials, is conducted once a year to periodically monitor the progress of ‘Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat’ mission, an initiative launched by Indian Railways that works towards cleaner trains and stations.
Speaking to News Today, a senior official from Southern Railway said, “We have plans to further improve in places where we lag.”
He added, “Coach Mitra Services, available for long-distance trains, have been extended to all mail and express trains. According to the facility, passengers can make a service request to the designated phone number. The information will reach a centralised control facility and arrange for addressing complaints. The OBHS (on board house keeping services) will be extended to all overnight trains also.”
Sources said IRCTC was assigned to carry out the survey along with two professional agencies, namely, IRCLASS Systems and Solutions Pvt Ltd, who performed the observation and audit-related work, and IPSOS Research Private Limited who analysed the passenger feedback.
For the survey, trains were categorised as ‘Premium Trains’ and ‘Other than Premium Trains’.
The premium train category included Rajdhani (69 rakes), Shatabdi (29 rakes), Duronto (31 rakes), Tejas (1 rake) and Gatiman trains (1 rake). Likewise, the other than premium category trains, the survey included Sampark Kranti (42 rakes), Intercity (29 rakes), Jan Shatabdi (24 rakes) and other mail /express trains (259 rakes).
Sources said a three-part survey (process audit, direct observation and passenger feedback) was designed in order to assess the cleanliness and sanitation conditions of the running trains. A team of two surveyors were deployed in each rake of trains to conduct the study. Officials noted that the route plans for surveyors were designed to match the departure schedule of trains to ensure assessment and coverage of trains were effective. They also added that pictures of assessments were collected to ensure the quality of the assessment being performed by the surveyors. Factors such as the condition of trains before the start and end of a journey, toilets, doorways, gangways, vestibules, waste management, pest management, quality of curtains were analysed.
SHATABDI SCORES 890
The survey found Southern Railway topped the chart of ‘other than premium category trains’. Of 14 trains surveyed here, it scored 271 for process audit, 236 for direct observation and 229 for passenger feedback. But in the ‘premium trains’ category, it was ranked seven, scoring 286 for process audit, 300 for direct observation and 222 for passenger feedback. The North Western Railway division topped this category. In the overall average zone-wise score of Shatabdi Trains, Southern Railway was ranked three, scoring 890.
But Shatabdi train was rated low by passengers on ‘toilet cleanliness’, compared to other trains.