It is heartening to note that the Minister Dullas Allahapperum is taking measures to improve the state of railway transportation in the country.
He has already imported new compartments from China and has hopes to import more in the future.
It is not only the increase in the number of compartments and engines that is needed.
Maintenance of the existing compartments in good condition too is essential to improve passenger safety and comfort. I list below a few points which may help the railway become a more passenger-friendly service.
General cleanliness – Interiors of the compartments need cleaning at least twice a week.
This cleaning should be done on the floors, in the toilets, on the fans and on the seats and windows.
Canteen facilities – These should be made available in all long distance trains. Presently some of the long distance trains do not have this facility.
Defacing interiors of compartments – It has become a regular practice to use interiors of railway compartments to put up posters of election candidates during times of elections.
Other advertising materials too are sometimes displayed in the trains. This practice should be completely prohibited and railway security officers should be authorised to remove all posters and any other material defacing the interiors of compartments.
Malfunctioning doors and windows – In older compartments, some of the doors and window shutters have become defective due to absence of proper maintenance. There are defective fans and light fittings too. These could be repaired regularly, if routine maintenance work is carried out. Are there routine maintenance schedules in place already?
Passenger safety – In the past, there have been reports of crimes being committed in railway compartments.
These include stealing of fans and light fittings and criminals operating in trains robbing passengers of jewellery and other valuable items.
There should be improved patrolling of security officers in all trains if possible in collaboration with the police.
Maintenance of cleanliness in and around railway stations. At most railway stations, it can be observed that garbage material like used paper cups and shopping bags lying in the yards.
It is the passengers who are responsible for this littering and therefore they should be requested not to litter the railway yards.
Garbage collection boxes should be installed in all the compartments with notices requesting the passengers to use these.
Station Masters too could be requested to keep the stations in a tidy condition.
There is plenty of potential for the railway services to be improved and to attract more passengers to make it a popular mode of inexpensive transportation.
With never ending upward price revisions imposed on passengers by private bus operators, it will be prudent for the authorities to focus on making improvements in railway transport to make it a competitive service for the benefit of the ordinary traveller.
Source: Daily News
Tags: crimes, criminals, friendly service, long distance, maintenance schedules, maintenance work, passenger safety, proper maintenance, railway transportation, routine maintenance, security officers, toilets