Several steps have been taken towards improving cleanliness on the railway network. Some of the key initiatives taken by the national transporter for the cleanliness of trains and stations are as follows:
1) Regular campaigns or drives have been conducted to achieve significant as well as sustainable improvements in cleanliness standards. The drives include announcements over public announcement system, display of posters and banners, ‘Nukkad Nataks’ on cleanliness theme, involvement of social or charitable organizations and NGOs as well as wide participation of staff.
2) Indian Railways strengthened the provision of mechanized cleaning contracts and at present, nearly 500 railway stations across the country undergo mechanized cleaning.
3) Installation of bio-toilets in coaches (excluding EMUs) has been intensified in order to avoid the dropping of night soils on the platform lines. There are plans to install bio-toilets in the entire broad-gauge coaching fleet of its network.
4) The cleaning of train coaches including the toilets of train coaches is carried out at both the ends through mechanized cleaning by Indian Railways.
5) The Railways has increased the coverage of On-Board Housekeeping Service (OBHS). At present, for cleaning of toilets, aisles, doorways and compartments during the run of the trains, OBHS is provided in over 1050 pairs of train services.
6) Indian Railways also introduced ‘Coach Mitra’ facility in nearly 1000 pairs of OBHS trains. The facility is a single window interface in order to register coach related requirements of railway passengers such as train lighting, cleaning, linen, air conditioning, disinfection and watering of coaches.
7) The national transporter carries out third-party audit and ranking of 407 major railway stations on cleanliness, annually. Recently, a third-party survey has also been conducted for assessment of cleanliness of 209 important train services.
8) In order to improve the effectiveness of cleaning and housekeeping contracts, Indian Railways has issued Standard bid document (SBD) as well as General Condition of Contract for Services (GCCS).