New Delhi: In a first of its kind massive cleanlines campaign, Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda will lead from the front by himself picking up the broom during the drive at rail premises on October 2 involving all its employees and top level officials.
"All our 13 lakh employees will be participating in cleanliness campaign at various stations on October 2. All our officers including Board Members and myself will be also participating in the cleanliness drive," Railway Minister Sadanada Gowda said here today.
October 2 is Gandhi Jayanti and according to sources many ministries including Railways are planning to carry out cleanliness drive across the country to mark the day.
He said the drive will focus more on "shramdaan" (voluntary labour) rather than just awareness campaign and all senior officers of Board have been assigned various zones and divisions for participation and monitoring the campaign.
Cleanliness is a major issue for railways as majority of the complaints are either related to unclean coaches and platforms or catering service.
"We have received a large number of complaints on cleanliness issues at stations and in trains. A series of steps have been taken to improve cleanliness and we have earmarked 40 per cent more fund allocations than the last year for this," he said.
He said a separate department for stations level to board level to keep up the cleanliness of stations and trains is being set up. "Currently multiple agencies are involved for maintaining cleanliness so we are creating a separate department exclusive for this."
He said till now 665 stations have been inspected and more stations will be covered to maintain cleanliness.
Referring to the problem of discharge of waste on rail track, Gowda said railways will install bio-toilets in all coaches to prevent it. "About 300 coaches have been fitted with bio-toilets and more will be equipped shortly," he said and added there is a plan to equip all trains in sector with bio-toilet so that entire route will have clean track.
On catering, Gowda said "we have decided to bring a change because there are many complaints by passengers against catering service".
"Now we are offering three choices to passengers. He can order pre-cooked ready to eat food, or order food from a local food chain in the town the train is passing by or the food supplied by the caterer on the train," he said.
In order to ensure quality of food, railways will be conducting third party audit system. Also, an automated system of passenger feed back on food quality has been introduced.
Gowda said "strict action has been taken against caterers against whom the complaints are found true. Already heavy fines up t o Rs 1 lakh have been imposed in a few case".