NR to offer on-board cleaning staff soon

LUCKNOW: The railways plan to provide clean ambience to on-board passengers is still in the pipeline. The On-Board Hygiene Services (OBHS) plan has not been wrapped up. Northern Railway (NR) had planned to introduce OBHS to make train travel a different experience. But it waited to become a reality for want of funds.

However, things are expected to start moving on the plan. This after NR headquarters sanction budget for the cleanliness projects in 2010-11. “The proposal has been made”, said sources. OBHS will provide for thorough cleaning of the trains. Under it, cleanliness staff of a private agency will be present on-board throughout the journey. The passengers can directly complain to the staff regarding dirty toilets or coaches and get them cleaned.

The cost of implementation is high for OBHS because it requires additional private staff to be present throughout the journey. Railways own staff might prove to be less than the requirement.

Though OBHS had never been a time-bound plan, sources said, “we wish to introduce it soon because it will add to passenger comfort”. It is not one single project but a part of the railway’s cleanliness activities which might be outsourced. It will be a big value addition to passenger services in Lucknow division of NR if all the proposed plans get rolling.

The OBHS could be implemented in long distance and prominent trains of Lucknow and Varanasi stations. Lack of on-board cleanliness on long distance trains has always been a common complaint of the passengers. The dirty toilets, most of all, is the worst.

It was mooted along with CTS (Clean Train Stations) plan. While CTS has got rolling, this one might also become a reality soon. Most probably, by the end of this financial year.