Passenger Amenities on Indian Railways: Measures to Curb Overcharging, Improve Security and Cleanliness Taken

Over Charging on food items

 Complaints have been received regarding overcharging of food items being sold in the trains including Superfast. The details of these complaints received during the period from 01.04.2019 to 31.12.2019 along with the action taken against them are as under:

Total no. of ComplaintsNo. of cases of fine imposedAmount of fine imposed(in ₹)WarnedSuitably AdvisedNot SubstantiatedAny OtherTotal
196298975,39,800526273551191962

Further, Indian Railways have taken following measures to curb overcharging:

  • Introduction of hand held POS machines along with QR code for generation of bills.
  • Prominent display of Menu/Tariff through various means viz. websites, social media, newspaper, trains at a glance etc. mandatory with waiters.
  • Deployment of onboard IRCTC supervisors for continuous monitoring.
  • MRP on food boxes – ” No MRP, the license get cancelled“.
  • Awareness Campaign “No Bill- The food is for FREE”.
  • A robust system for passenger feedback and complaints exists for redressal through Rail Madad, Twitter handle, CPGRAMS, E-Mail and SMS based complaints.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Security and Cleanliness in Railways

Indian Railways is committed to provide secure, safe and comfortable journey to all its passengers. Provision of security, safety and other facilities to passengers is a continuous process and every endeavour is made to ensure these to railway passengers. Following steps are taken for security of passengers by Railways:-

On vulnerable and identified routes/sections, 2200 trains (on an average) are escorted by Railway Protection Force (RPF) daily in addition to 2200 trains escorted by Government Railway Police (GRP) of different States daily. Surveillance is kept through Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, provided at about 511 stations over Indian Railways to ensure safety and security of passengers. Efforts will be undertaken to cover all railway stations by Video Surveillance System expeditiously. Security Help Line number 182 is operational over Indian Railways for security related assistance to passengers in distress. An Integrated Security System (ISS) consisting of surveillance of vulnerable stations through CCTV Camera Network, Access Control etc. has been sanctioned to improve surveillance mechanism over 202 railway stations. Anti sabotage checks are undertaken with sniffer dogs at all major stations as well as in trains. Baggage scanners, Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMD) and Hand Held Metal Detectors (HHMD) are being used for screening passenger and their baggages. Close liaison is made by the Railways with the State Police/GRP authorities, Central & State Intelligence agencies and Civil authorities at all levels for prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of law & order in Railway premises as well as on running trains. 2019 coaches have been provided with Video Surveillance System till date. Efforts will be made to cover 7020 coaches of premium and suburban trains by CCTVs expeditiously. Construction of about 3000 Km boundary wall has been sanctioned and will be constructed in phased manner for providing better access control. Station Security Plan is under process of formulation and implementation in 202 stations covered under ISS in phased manner for better access control and seamless deployment of security agencies. A Pilot Project for biometric queue management in unreserved coaches of major long distance trains has been implemented successfully in Lucknow, Gorakhpur and Churchgate. Massive drives are being conducted over Railways against touting of railway tickets in which 4598 persons were arrested during the year 2019. Recruitment of 4078 and 298 lady constables and Sub-Inspectors respectively in RPF has been completed increasing the percentage of women in RPF from existing 3% to 9%, which will go a long way in enhancing security of women passengers. Efforts are being made to use technology to increase the reach and effectiveness of RPF in the field of security and assistance to passengers.

Measures/steps taken to enhance safety over Indian Railways:-

Safety is accorded the highest priority by Indian Railways and all possible steps are undertaken on a continuous basis to prevent accidents and to enhance safety. These include timely replacement of over-aged assets, adoption of suitable technologies for upgradation and maintenance of track, rolling stock, signaling and interlocking systems, safety drives, greater emphasis on training of officials and safety inspections at regular intervals to monitor and educate staff for observance of safe practices. Preventive and predictive maintenance of the Railway assets is undertaken to ensure train operation. Safety devices/systems being used to prevent accidents include Electronics Interlocking, track circuiting, provision of Block Proving Axle Counters, Colour Light Emitting Diode (LED) Signals, Train Protection and Warning System, Vigilance Control Device, Fog Pass Device, usage of 52 kg/60kg, 90 or higher Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) rails and pre-stressed Concrete, Sleepers, use of Ultrasonic Flaw Detection of rails and welds at predefined periodicity to detect internal flaws in rails/welds. Electronic monitoring of track geometry is carried out to detect defects and plan maintenance. Steel Channel Sleepers on girder bridges are being used while carrying out primary track renewals. Further, it has been decided to lay Thick webs switches, Weldable Cast Maganese Steel crossings on identified routes. Progressive use of Linke Hofmann Busch Coaches, use of Centre Buffer Couplers with Integral Coach Factory Coaches, etc. Railway tracks are replaced on age-cum-condition basis through track renewal works which is an ongoing process. Other measures include training of loco pilots and other safety category staff, improvement of their working conditions including proper rest and periodic medical examination etc. Besides, patrolling of tracks, footplate inspections and safety reviews at various levels, etc. are regularly conducted to continuously monitor and improve safety aspects of the Indian Railways.

In addition, passengers can dial helpline No. 139 for safety related issues as well.

Measures/steps taken for punctual running of trains over Indian Railways:-

Punctual running of trains is a focus area of activity for Indian Railways. Punctuality of passenger carrying trains is being monitored rigorously on a daily basis at Divisional, Zonal and Railway Board levels by Divisional Railway Managers (DRM), General Managers (GM) and Railway Board Members. To ensure right time running of these trains when pairing trains are running late, scratch rakes are inducted and rakes are standardized to the extent operationally feasible. Also various steps have been initiated to improve punctuality such as prioritization of preventive maintenance of assets to minimize asset failures, capacity enhancement project by construction of additional loop lines at stations, doubling, construction of third line corridors, automatic signaling, construction of limited height subways to replace level crossing Road Under Bridges (RUB) and Road Over Bridges (ROB) etc.

Besides, punctuality drives are launched from time to time and staff involved in train operations are sensitized. In addition, Zonal Railways have also been advised to have better coordination with Civil and Police authorities of States to deal with situations arising out of law and order problems. During the current year, the punctuality of Mail and Express trains has been 74.86 %, which is 7.06 % higher than the previous year.

Measures/steps taken for cleanliness over Indian Railways:-

Cleanliness is a continuous process and every endeavour is made to keep the railway stations and passenger carrying trains in properly maintained and clean condition. Some of the major initiatives taken by Indian Railways towards improvement of cleanliness of stations and trains are as follows:

  1. Introduction of mechanised cleaning at around 950 stations, award of rag picking and garbage disposal contracts at stations.
  2. Concrete washable aprons on platform tracks provided to facilitate clearing of night soil on platform lines by washing with water jets.
  3. Provision of clean and hygienic toilets, including pay and use toilets at stations.
  4. Use of CCTVs has been extended for monitoring of cleanliness activities at 388 major stations.
  5. Indian Railways has proliferated bio-toilets on its coaching stock so that no human waste is discharged from coaches on to the track. Nearly 2,37,000 bio-toilets have been fitted on around 66,000 coaches.
  6. Cleaning of coaches, including toilets of trains, is done at both ends, including mechanized cleaning.
  7. On Board Housekeeping Service (OBHS) has been provided in nearly 1100 pairs of trains including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and other important long distance Mail/Express trains for cleaning of coach toilets, doorway, aisles and passenger compartments during the run of the trains.
  8. ‘Coach Mitra’ service has been provided in around 1060 pairs of OBHS trains as a single window interface to register coach related requirements of passengers such as cleaning, disinfestation train lighting. air conditioning and watering of coaches.
  9. 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. 39 CTS stations are operational.
  10. Pest and rodent control of coaches is being done on a regular basis through authorised professional agencies.
  11. Earlier, dustbins were provided in AC Coaches only. Now, provision of dustbin is also being done in Non-AC coaches.
  12. Mechanised laundries have been set up at 66 locations across Indian Railways to provide clean and hygienic bedrolls to the AC passengers in trains.
  13. Regular checks are conducted at officers/supervisors levels and corrective action is taken wherever any deficiency is noticed.
  14. Enforcement of Indian Railway (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at railway premises) Rules, 2012 intensified.
  15. Standard Bid Document (SBD) and General Conditions of Contract for Services (GCCS) have been issued to improve effectiveness of housekeeping /Cleaning contracts.
  16. Cleanliness drives and awareness campaigns are also conducted from time to time.
  17. Third party audit cum survey on cleanliness of major stations and trains is also being carried out to get status check feedback and also to install healthy competition for improvement.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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