An SMS-based coach cleaning service being provided by Pune Division aboard Pune-Jammu Tawi Jhelum Express, has been keeping the onboard housekeeping staff busy. The facility has generated good response from the passengers who, Pune Division officials say, send as many as 60 to 70 such complaints during each journey of the train.
The response to the service has prompted the Central Railways to expand it to other long-distance trains as well.
Under the scheme, passengers can request for a housekeeping staffer to come and clean the coach if they find a dirty spot by sending an SMS to 56677. The passenger has to type <CLEAN> space <PNR NUMBER> and send the message to 56677. Soon after the message is sent, a notification is sent to the on-board housekeeping team which has to reach the coach in specified time and address the complaint. Meanwhile, the complainant receives a code which he has to provide to the housekeeping staffer after he is satisfied with the cleaning. The complaint is considered as closed only when the staffer keys in this code obtained from the complainant.
Based on the passenger feedback, the money to be paid to the housekeeping firm is decided. If the Passenger Satisfaction Index (PSI) is below 60 per cent (meaning if 60 per cent of complainants provide negative feedback), the firm will not get any of the agreed upon payment. To ensure full payment, the housekeeping firm has to keep a PSI above 85 per cent.
Nationally, the scheme has so far been implemented in around 385 trains. Presently, this service is being provided in 23 Rajdhani, 21 Shatabdi, 27 Duronto & 314 other identified long-distance Mail/Express trains for frequent cleaning of coach toilets, doorways, aisles and passenger compartments during the run of the trains. Other important trains as identified by Zonal Railways are also planned for provision of OBHS.
As per Divisional Railway Manager BK Dadabhoy, the service started in Jhelum Express is getting an encouraging response. “We had started the service in Jhelum Express on a pilot basis. As many as 60 to 70 complaints are being generated during every journey. Soon, the facility will be expanded to more trains,” said Dadabhoy.
Dadabhoy said that apart from this service, Pune Division was also making efforts to make to improve cleanliness. “We have installed 475 bio-toilets in 156 coaches attached to long-distance trains. Slowly, the number will go up. Similarly, we are taking efforts to make the Pune Station into a green station by installing solar panels at the Pune Station,” said Dadabhoy.