Cleanliness has always been a bone of contention for passengers travelling in trains, with the Railways receiving a large number of complaints about the same. However, the Railways is increasingly relying on passenger feedback to improve overall services. After all, passengers face the ground reality every day, and the Railway infrastructure, set up for them, may be best judged by them—or so the Railways feels.
Now, you, the passenger, can rate cleanliness standards in trains and stations, thus directly impacting the contactors.
Here’s how this works. If you give a poor feedback, the contractor posts a low score. Those with low scores will be dealt with by the Railways who have drawn up a new contract which states that 30% of a contractor’s monthly penalties and incentives will depend on an overall score given by passengers, regarding cleanliness levels.
Other points include—attendance of cleanliness staff, use and quality of consumables, linen distribution, maintenance and services-all to be monitored by Railway staff.
The break-up of the ratings according to the new rules have been formulated such that passenger feedback and complaints carry the maximum weightage of 30%.
According to Railway officials quoted in the Financial Express, the score will determine the contractor’s incentive or penalty. Since cleanliness directly affects passengers, it was vital to include them in the process.
Passengers will record their feedback via a GPS based system, with a zero margin for error.
As of now, the On-Board Housekeeping Staff (OBHS) takes care of cleanliness. Most of the staff members are on a contract, and the service is spread over 1700 trains. It includes two scheduled cleanings per day, and any additional cleaning requested by a passenger.
With the Railways seriously implementing passenger complaints, contractors will be forced to keep performing well, so that passengers give a positive feedback for their services.