A day after ordering the suspension of On-board Housekeeping Services on several trains operated by Southern Railway (SR), the zone has backtracked on the plan.
Reacting to news reports, the official Twitter handle of the General Manager of SR tweeted a clarification:
The General Manager’s office also asked divisional staff to hold off on the process of suspending OBHS services.
The circular suggests that delayed bills of contractors may have become a large enough problem to warrant drastic action. With the issue of pending bills resolved, the need to suspend services provided through contractors no longer exists.
Shortage of funds and curtailment of OBHS
A supposed dearth of funds forced Southern Railway (SR) to suspend on-board housekeeping services in most of its long-distance trains. The suspension was to be effective September 1.
This follows the decision taken on payments to contractors post the meeting of General Managers with divisional railway managers (DRMs) and Principal Head of Departments on August 14.
In a letter to all the DRMs, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer of SR, Shubhranshu asked for curtailment of other services such as annual maintenance and operations contract of bio-toilets pest control services and linen supplied to passengers.
All DRMs had been asked to estimate the cost savings of this exercise and send to the headquarters by August 22. SR has 110 long-distance trains.
The trains that were to continue to have on-board Housekeeping services include Mangala Express, Mumbai- Kanyakumari Express, Nethravati express, Kerala Express, Chennai -Jodhpur express, Chennai -Nizamuddin Garib Rath, Ganga Kaveri Express, Navjeevan Express, Rameswaram Okha express, Rameswaram Faizabad express, Sampark Kranti express, Dehradun-Chandigarh express,Navug express, Kharagpur express, Purulia Express, Mangalore express, Howrah Express, Tamilnadu express, Duranto express and Grand Trunk express.