Cleanliness in trains, stations of utmost priority, says Suresh Prabhu
He said the ministry wants to make "Swachh Rail" the driving force behind the government's flagship "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" or Clean India campaign. Railway Budget highlights
IANS New Delhi Last Updated: February 26, 2015 | 18:27 IST
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said ensuring higher standards of cleanliness is of utmost priority for Indian Railways and appealed citizens to keep it clean as it is their travelling home.
He said the ministry wants to make "Swachh Rail" the driving force behind the government's flagship "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" or Clean India campaign.
Outlining the proposals on cleanliness he said, the railways proposed to create a new department for keeping stations and trains clean.
"Integrated cleaning will be taken up as a specialized activity, which will include engaging professional agencies and also training staff in the latest cleaning practices," the minister said.
He said Railways plans to set up "waste to energy" conversion plants near major coaching terminals to dispose waste in an environment-friendly manner. One pilot plant will be set up to begin with, followed by more plants in a phased manner.
The condition of toilet facilities in stations and trains needs major improvement, the minister said.
"The Railways will build new toilets covering 650 additional stations compared to 120 stations last year. Bio-toilets are being fitted in coaches," Prabhu said.
So far the railways has replaced the existing toilets with 17,388 bio toilets. This year it intends to replace another 17,000 toilets, he added.
Railways' Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has also been tasked with making available, within a period of six months, a design for vacuum toilets.
Prabhu also said travellers' concerns will be looked into.
"Even as the quality of Indian Railways' On-board Housekeeping Service (OBHS), presently available in 500 pairs of trains, is being re-looked to make it more effective, the railways will take simple steps immediately to address customer concerns.
"The feasibility of a disposable bag along with bedroll for the purpose of collecting their garbage is being considered. The coverage of built-in dustbins will be extended to non-AC coaches as well," Prabhu added.