In its effort to provide quality and hygienic food to the passengers, Railways have developed and operationalized a standardized system for monitoring of quality and hygiene of catering services through regular inspections at various levels to address catering complaints.
Improvement in maintenance and cleanliness of train coaches is a continuous endeavour of the Indian Railways (IR).
(1) Some of the policy decisions taken in this regard are:
(i) Provision of dustbins in Non-AC coaches.
(ii) Provision of mugs with chain in Non-AC coaches.
(iii) Provision of Health Faucets in AC as well as Non-AC Sleeper class coaches.
(iv) Cleaning of coaches of trains at both ends including mechanized cleaning.
(v) On Board HouseKeeping Service (OBHS) has been provided in nearly 980 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.
(vi) On demand ‘Clean My Coach’ service is provided on demand in nearly 970 important Superfast / Mail/Express long-distance trains having OBHS.
(vii) By expanding the scope of ‘Clean My Coach’ / Coach Mitra’ Service has been provided in nearly 800 OBHS trains as a single window interface to register all coach related requirements of passengers travelling in reserved coaches, such as cleaning, disinfection, linen, train lighting, air conditioning and watering of coaches.
(viii) 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.
(ix) Washing of bed linen (except blanket) provided for AC passengers is done after every single use. Blankets were being cleaned at least once in two months. Prescribed washing frequency of blankets has been recently increased to minimum once in a month. To improve the quality of washing of bed linen, 59 mechanized laundries have been set up in the railways, covering nearly 65% of linen washing requirement. Most of the remaining linen is also washed in outside mechanized laundries through contracts.
(2) IR is improving the interior of the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) design coaches. New interiors with more pleasing colours, aesthetically designed fittings, panelling, improved toilets, etc. are being provided in the existing coaches by refurbishing them during Mid Life Rehabilitation (MLR). Work in 700 such Model rake coaches is being progressively carried out. Out of these, more than 100 Model rake coaches have already been turned out.
(3) Various premium services like Humsafar, Tejas, Antyodaya and coaches like Deen Dayalu and Anubhuti, which have improved passenger amenities, have also been introduced in service.
(4) IR has launched Project Swarn with the objective of significantly improving the passenger experience. In total, 14 Rajdhani and 15 Shatabdi trains will be covered.
(5) For the assistance of visually impaired travellers, Integrated Braille signage, i.e. signage superimposed with Braille scripts, are being provided in the newly manufactured coaches of IR. Retro fitment of the same in existing coaches has also been taken up in a phased manner.