The Eastern Railway has introduced the on-board cleaning of trains, the second railway zone in the country to do so.
Christened 'On Board Housekeeping Services' (OBHS), the system has been initially introduced in the Jammu Tawi Express, the Lalquila Express, Ananya Express, Akal-Takht Express, Sampark Kranti Express and Hatey Bazare Express, Eastern Railway General Manager N K Goel said.
The system was first introduced in South Western Railway where only one train has the service. After introducing it in six trains, ER would bring 13 more trains under the OBHS, Eastern Railway sources said.
Under the system, on board cleaning of toilets, doorways, gangways and vestibules would be done at frequent intervals as also when demanded by the passengers.
"The work shall be done from 5 am to 9 am and again from 4 pm to 8 pm in all the reserved coaches. Also the passenger compartments and the aisle shall be cleaned and mopped twice a day at suitable intervals," Goel said.
Major activities in OBHS would include dry and wet cleaning of toilet, cleaning of mirrors, vestibules, garbage disposal from dust bins, spraying of air fresheners, refilling of liquid soap and deodorising of toilets.
Emphasising that passenger satisfaction and feedback would be the essence of the OBHS, Goel said passengers would be requested to fill up feedback forms with points for 18 activities which are rated against a Passenger Satisfaction Index.
Mentioning that the OBHS job has been outsourced to private contractors, Goel said they would be paid monthly on the basis of the average PSI of a particular train.
"The payment system to the contractor is linked with passenger feedback so that the cleaning work is effective," the general manager said.
In the second phase, the service would be introduced in eight trains of the Howrah division and five in the Malda Town division, he said.
Releasing the ER's new suburban time table yesterday, Goel said it had introduced 43 pairs of new suburban trains, the highest number in the decade after 23 pairs introduced in 2002-03.
While six trains each would run during morning and evening peak hours, 17 would operate in the daytime and 14 during late evening, he said.
The ER has decided to introduce six long-distance trains. These are Malda-Patna Jn Tri-weekly Express, Asansol-CSTM Weekly Express, Sealdah-Murshidabad Express (daily), Kolkata- Haldibari Tri-Weekly Express, Ranchi-Bhagalpur Tri-weekly Express, Kamakhya-Gaya Weekly Express, Puri-Dwarbhanga Weekly Express via Asansol, New Dibrugarh Town-Yeshwantpur Weekly Express via Howrah, Yeshwantpur-Bhagalpur Weekly Express via Howrah-Jhajha-Kiul and Dhanbad-Patna Express (six days a week).