New Delhi: The Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) of Indian Railways will now be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring cleanliness of the coach and public amenities in the general and sleeper classes.
As part of a railways cleanliness drive, the TTE will have to inform the cleaning staff deployed on the trains if the toilets in the general and sleeper coaches are found to be dirty and unhygienic.
The TTEs will also have to keep a tab on water availability and whether the coaches are being cleaned according to schedule.
On Wednesday, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi said the Railway Board has been issued a directive in this regard, and it will issue its own order for the officials later this month.
“The passengers are also being made aware about maintaining cleanliness in the coaches, so that they can also contribute in this drive,” Angadi told ThePrint.
Apart from this, the minister may also himself inspect trains and coaches to ensure compliance. Public feedback is also being sought.
Up until now, TTEs were responsible only for the services and amenities being provided in the AC coaches.
The move comes as the Railway department looks to provide facilities to poor and labour classes that travel in the general coaches that often have dirty toilets due to overcrowding.
However, TTEs are apprehensive about the new duty being assigned to them.
“We can only supervise the cleanliness activities in the coaches where we check tickets. We often remain unaware about what is happening in the other coaches. Cleanliness staff is hired via private contractors. Quite often they ignore our complaints and/or requests,” a TTE told ThePrint on condition of anonymity.
Toilets dominate complaints list
During the first tenure of the Modi government, the railways ministry had taken several rounds of feedback from passengers. During this exercise, complaints regarding dirty toilets remained at the top of passengers’ problem list.
The railways has, since, undertaken major initiatives to improve the cleanliness of trains. The housekeeping staff is already deployed on all major trains. However, these teams mostly focus on the AC coaches.
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