Provision of enhanced passenger amenities in train coaches is a continual endeavor of the Indian Railways.
Some of the policy decisions taken in this regard are:
1. Provision of cushioned seats in General Second class coaches.
2. Provision of bottle holder and snack table in Non-AC Sleeper Class coaches.
3. Provision of dust bins in Non-AC coaches.
4. Provision of mugs with chain in Non-AC coaches.
5. Provision of Health Faucets in AC as well as Non-AC Sleeper class coaches, etc.
Besides, new trains having better passenger amenities, such as Tejas, Humsafar and Antyodaya have already been introduced. It has also been decided to carry out the work of upgradation of the coach interiors and exteriors and to provide additional amenities in the identified coaches, that have a certain balance residual life. The upgradation of coaches would result in an improvement in the overall ambience and furnishing and enhanced passenger comfort. It has been decided to carry out the work in a phased manner depending upon the availability of capacities and funds.
Cleaning of coaches including toilets is done at both ends in all trains. Some of the major initiatives taken by Indian Railways towards improvement of cleanliness in trains are as follows:-
(i) Cleaning of coaches of trains at both ends including mechanized cleaning.
(ii) On Board House Keeping Service (OBHS) has been provided in nearly 900 trains including Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and other important long distance Mail/Express trains for cleaning of coach toilets, doorways, aisles and passenger compartments during the run of the trains.
(iii) ‘Clean My Coach’ service is provided on demand in nearly 880 important Superfast/ Mail/Express long distance trains having “On Board Housekeeping Service”.
(iv) Clean Train Station (CTS) scheme has also been prescribed for limited mechanized cleaning attention to identified trains including cleaning of toilets during their scheduled stoppages enroute at nominated stations. 40 Clean Train Stations are presently working.
In its endeavour to provide quality and hygienic food to the passengers, Indian Railways have developed and operationalized an institutionalized mechanism for monitoring of quality and hygiene of catering services through regular inspections at various levels to address catering complaints. Further, to improve the standard of food being provided to passengers in trains, new Catering Policy has been issued on 27th February, 2017 wherein inter-alia Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has been mandated to carry out the unbundling by creating a distinction primarily between food preparation and food distribution. In order to upgrade quality of food preparation, IRCTC is to set up new kitchens and upgrade existing ones. Further, a pilot project on optional catering service will be provided to passengers booking tickets from 01.08.2017 onwards for the journeys to commence on 01.08.2017 and onwards shall be introduced on 31 Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto under the management of IRCTC w.e.f. 01.08.2017. This scheme shall be implemented for an initial period of 6 months subject to mid-term review of the scheme after 3 months.
This Press Release is based on the information given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 02.08.2017 (Wednesday).