July 29, 2016

Measures for Passenger Service, Passenger Amenities, Safety and Security in Indian Railways

 In the year 2016-17 (upto June 2016), 19 new train services and extension of 10 existing train services has been implemented. In the Railway Budget 2016-17, introduction of Antyodaya, Humsafar, Tejas and Uday type of train services has been announced and will be introduced upon availability of coaches, necessary clearance of Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), etc. Moreover, introduction of new train services other than announced in Railway Budgets and extension of existing train services is an on-going process over Indian Railways subject to operational feasibility, commercial viability, availability of resources, etc.

(b): Improvement of catering services is an on-going process.  Steps taken/being taken to ensure that good quality and hygienic food is served to the passengers include: (i) Introduction of station based E-Catering for widening the range of options available to passengers for ordering food of their choice. (ii) Introduction of precooked food (‘ready to eat’ meals) in the range of options available to passengers. (iii) Operation of centralized Catering Service Monitoring Cell (CSMC) (toll free number 1800-111-321) for prompt redressal of passenger grievances relating to the catering activities and real time assistance to travelling public. (iv) Imposition of penalties in case of deficiencies detected in services. (v) Operation of all India Helpline (No. 138) for rail-users to lodge complaints/suggestions regarding food and catering services. (vi) A Twitter handle @ IR CATERING has also been made operational to cater to the complaints/suggestions with regard to catering services.

            In addition to provision of standard amenities to passengers in coaches, following measures have also been taken in the year 2016-17 till date:

1.      ‘Clean My Coach’ service has been rolled out on more divisions to cover 50 railway divisions across Indian Railways. Under this service cleaning is done by On Board Housekeeping staff when passenger request is received through SMS/Mobile App.
2.      Shan-e-Punjab train was flagged off as first train of Indian Railways fitted with CCTV cameras for greater security of passengers especially women passengers.
3.      Deen Dayalu coach with enhanced passenger amenities was developed and first such coach manufactured.
4.      First ‘Green Train Corridor’ with no human waste discharge from trains was developed between Rameshwaram and Mannamadurai. Besides, improving environment, it would help in reducing corrosion and thereby improving safety.
            Safety is accorded the highest priority by Indian Railways and all possible steps are undertaken on a continual 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 inspections at regular intervals to monitor and educate staff for observance of safe practices.  Safety devices/systems being used to prevent accidents include complete track circuiting, provision of Block Proving Axle Counters (BPAC), Auxiliary Warning System (AWS), Colour Light, LED Signals, Vigilance Control Device (VCD), usage of 60 Kg rails and Pre-stressed Concrete Sleepers, long rail panels, better welding technology, progressive use of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) Coaches, Centre Buffer Couplers with Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Coaches, etc.
            Policing on Railways being a State subject, prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order in Railway premises as well as on running trains are the statutory responsibility of the State Governments, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP). However, Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements the efforts of the GRP to provide security to passengers including women.
            The following measures are being taken by Railways for safety and security of passengers including women passengers in trains:
1.                  On vulnerable and identified routes/ sections, 2500 trains (on an average) are escorted by Railway Protection Force daily, in addition to 2200 trains escorted by Government Railway Police of different States daily.
2.                  The ladies special trains running in Metropolitan cities are being escorted by lady RPF constables.

3.                  The ladies compartments in sub-urban trains running in metropolitan cities are being escorted by RPF and GRP. Staff deployment is made during late night and early morning in such trains to ensure proper security to the lady passengers.

4.                  Security Help Line number 182 is made operational over Indian Railways for security related assistance to passengers in distress.

5.                  During the drives, a total of 6,04,097 persons were arrested and prosecuted under the relevant provisions of the Railways Act, 1989 and an amount of ₹ 18.42 crore were realized in the tune of fine during the period of April, 2016 to June, 2016.

6.                  Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) have already been provided at 344 stations over Indian Railways. Railways have also planned to install Video Surveillance System (VSS) at 1000 stations under Nirbhaya Fund.

7.                  RPF holds regular coordination meetings with State Police at all levels to ensure proper registration and investigation of crime by GRP.