Jul 22, 2016

Rail Amenities fo Passenger coaches of express and mail trains

Passenger coaches of express and mail trains are provided with a certain level of amenities and fittings including good quality cushioned seats/berths and it is continually endeavoured to maintain them in good condition. Besides, cleaning of coaches including floor/toilets in these trains is also undertaken as per scheduled periodicity. Under On Board Housekeeping scheme, cleaning of nominated trains is undertaken on run whereas, under Clean Train Station scheme, limited mechanised cleaning of identified trains is undertaken at select stations during their scheduled halts. In its endeavour to provide quality and hygienic food to the passengers, railways have developed and operationalized an institutionalized mechanism for monitoring of catering services through regular inspections at various levels. 

Regular inspections are conducted by Service Improvement Group (SIG), Passenger Amenities Committee (PAC), Passenger Services Committee (PSC) to check passenger amenities and remedial measures are taken as when deficiencies are noted. 

Further, Passenger feedback is taken through Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) on regular basis on the scale of 1 to 5 score (5 for excellent service and 1 for bad service) for six items of passenger services, i.e., Station Cleanliness, Train Cleanliness, Air Condition Cooling, Bed Rolls, Food Quality and Punctuality of Trains. Appropriate action is taken by the concerned authorities on the deficiencies pointed out by the passengers for the above-mentioned services. 

As per prescribed norms, requisite amenities in the form of fittings and fixtures inside the coaches such as seats/berths, windows, fans/air-conditioning, lights, toilets, washbasin, magazine bags, bottle holder, mobile laptop charger etc. are provided for comfortable journey. Regular maintenance and upkeep of these items is carried out during laid down maintenance schedules in open line as well as during periodical overhauls in the railway workshops. Besides, identified coaches are also subjected to a ‘Mid-life’ rehabilitation to restore their condition. Special Drives are launched and surprise checks are conducted from time to time to monitor the passenger amenities in trains. 

The steps taken to improve the quality of food in railways inter-alia include: (i) Phased introduction of station based e-catering at all ‘A1’ and ‘A’ category stations for widening the range of options available to passengers for ordering food of their choice. (ii) Introduction of precooked food (‘ready to eat’ meals). (iii) Operation of centralized Catering Service Monitoring Cell (CSMC) (toll free number 1800-111-321) for prompt redressal of passenger grievances relating to the catering activities and real time assistance to travelling public. (iv) Imposition of penalties in case of deficiencies detected in services. (v) Operation of all India Helpline (No.138) for rail-users to lodge complaints/suggestions regarding food and catering services (vi) A Twitter handle with the address @IRCATERING has also been made operational to cater to the complaints/suggestions with regard to catering services. 

This Press Release is based on information given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Communications and Minister of State for Railways in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha