Jun 8, 2018

How is Railways contributing to Swachh Bharat Mission?

Mahatma Gandhi once said -

“We can no more gain God’s blessing with an unclean body than with an unclean mind. A clean body cannot reside in an unclean city. So long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you cannot make your towns and cities clean”

His words still resonate with us today and as we approach his 150th birth anniversary (2019) we must ensure that his teachings are adhered to in letter and spirit so that we transform our India into a ‘clean’ nation.

Launched in 2014 the Swachh Bharat Mission has grown into a national movement in which every citizen of the country regardless of age, gender, religion, or economic background feels engaged. In 2014 our Hon’ble Prime Shri Narendra Modi led us all by example to initiate the drive of cleanliness and since then the mission has epitomised the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. The mission has witnessed ‘jan-bhagidari’on an unprecedented scale with numerous people pledging to the cause and taking up activities for a Swachh Bharat. The various achievements of the mission and hard work of all its stakeholders have inspired others to take up the mantle of change to ensure a clean and green India for all.

Railways has also been a part of this extraordinary journey and being the largest employer in the country with such a vast rail network, Indian Railways has a huge responsibility of ensuring cleanliness. Therefore, we have introduced a number of initiatives to contribute to the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Let me share with you the steps taken by Indian Railways for ensuring cleanliness.

Cleanliness in Stations

● Integrated mechanised cleaning provided at 488 Railway stations and will be extended to another 97 major stations by March, 2019

● Independent third party survey of passenger perception on cleanliness standards of 407 railway stations done in 2016 and 2017. This is aimed at taking feedback and improving cleanliness standards

● Automatic Rail-mounted machine to clear muck started in Delhi and planned across India

● The beautification of stations is taking place all across the country, so far 60 stations have been beautified with stations being painted by local artists

● Between October, 2017 and December, 2017 more than 5 lakh garbage bags were cleared from railway tracks.

● Railways has also cleared more than 20 lakh gunny bags of garbage from the tracks of Mumbai by using JCB machines

Cleanliness on Trains

● On Board House Keeping Service (OBHS) increased from 416 pairs of trains (March, 2014) to 1,003 (March, 2018) an increase of almost 2.5 times

● Third Party Survey and Audit on cleanliness of 210 important trains is currently being carried out

● Mechanised Washing of Linen is being carried out. Between 2014-18 33 mechanised laundries were set up, compared to 26 during 2009-14

Improvements in Sanitation

● 56,087 bio-toilets have been provided in 14,639 coaches during 2017-18, compared to 9,587 bio-toilets introduced in 3,647 coaches during 2004-14

● Sections are being made free of human waste discharge with trains being commissioned as ‘Green Train Corridors’. 6 sections commissioned during 2016-17 and 21 sections commissioned during 2017-18

● Indian Railways is also installing Bio-Vacuum toilets. 100 coaches have been fitted with Bio-Vaccum toilets and procurement of another 2,000 is underway

● 224 toilets have been provided on stations during 2017-18

Reforms affecting Cleanliness

● Powers for service contracts delegated to Divisional Railway Managers up to Rs. 100 Cr from existing Rs. 20 Cr, to enable faster decision making on cleanliness related issues

● New system for housekeeping contracts introduced, where payments to contractors are also based on ratings given by passengers

Indian Railways strongly believes in the mantra, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service ofothers”- Mahatma Gandhi

Through the above mentioned initiatives we are working tirelessly with the best of our intentions and ability to ensure that we uphold the mantle of Swachhata while also serving the people of India. A Swachh Rail will ultimately lead to a Swachh Bharat.

Source - Quora 

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