All throughout the year, Indian Railways is a trending topic among the masses. Every day lakhs of people travel through trains. It is a good source of income for the government. So we even have a railway minister to take care of it.
There are improvements made very frequently to improve the quality of service in Railways. Many people complaints about the quality of food, Cleanliness of the rooms and berths provided to them during the travel. Even the Station premises lack cleanliness.
So recently a Survey was done to gather the feedback of the passengers and what they have to say about the cleanliness initiatives undertaken Indian railways. It also throws a light on how much has been the impact of ‘Swachh Bharat’ initiative taken by the government. Research agency – TNS was involved in it.
The survey was conducted by conducting face to face interviews across 407 stations in 16 different zones. These 407 stations were divided into A1 and A category. Around 75 were A1 stations. Around 1.34 Lakhs passengers gave the feedback and the report was released by railway minister – Suresh Prabhu. In this survey, Passengers were asked to rate the station premises on different parameters.
Another survey was conducted last year in which passengers were asked to rate on different parameters like punctuality of trains, amenities provided inside the train, amenities at the station, Cleanliness, Catering at stations/in trains, Behaviour of staff, Information availability/display, security at stations/trains, Facilities for senior citizens and women, and toilets.
The highest rated factor was the ‘Punctuality of trains’ and the least rated was toilets. Information availability and display was also highly rated, Thanks to facilities like booking a ticket online. As a result of it, anyone can check train PNR status online for a booked ticket. Along with toilets, cleanliness was also least rated.
May be the outcome of the report, lead to the government introducing, ‘Swachh rail swachh Bharat’ initiative. New Cleanliness Directors were appointed to supervise the cleanliness campaign. The survey conducted by TNS specially focused on the feedback on the cleanliness to know the progress post the earlier research was conducted. In this survey, Surat and Beas were found to have cleanest railway stations. Mughalsarai and Pune were the dirtiest stations.
Other stations – Beas, Jamnagar, Gandhidham, Vasco-da-gama, Kumbakonam, and Nasik road were among the top 10 stations. On the other hand, Shahganj, Ballia and Janghai (UP), Madhubani and Bhaktiyarpur and Raichur were among the 10 least clean stations.
So various initiatives are now undertaken in order to improve the standards of cleanliness. The railways have now started the use of technology and have started educating the passengers on the importance of cleanliness. Professional agencies are deployed for cleanliness of coaches. Various measures are taken for pest and rodent control.
Regarding food, there are talks going on with branded retail outlets who can provide quality food. Special focus is on trains like Rajdhani, Duranto etc which cater to premium customers. Medical department is appointed to ensure the job of sanitation.