Indian Railways is notorious for lack of cleanliness and delay in train services. Stains of paan, tobacco and gutkha on platforms, behind schedule trains, throw the Indian Railways off track. Now, in order to give the national transporter a performance makeover before the 2019 general elections, Railways will start making public a list of its best and worst performing trains and zones. To improve service standards by encouraging competition within the organisation, trains and zones will be ranked. The Indian Railways has 17 zones, which are divided further into sub-zones. According to an official, this will ensure at least a 50 per cent reduction in derailments and other accidents. “The list would be made on the basis of housekeeping and environment, coaching standard and the punctuality of trains,” he told Economics Times. “Railway minister Piyush Goyal has already put in place a monitoring team. All information related to trains and zones would be made public.” Punctuality and cleanliness longstanding issues for the railways Delay in train services According to a survey by travel search application Ixigo, the Manduadih-Rameswaram Weekly Express tops the list of latecomer trains, with the highest average delay time of 11.5 hours. Manduadih is in Uttar Pradesh and the train travels a little more than 2,000 km to Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. A Business Standard report, quoting the survey, said the other worst-performing trains include Himgiri SuperFast (SF) Express from Howrah to Jammu Tawi, with 9.3 hours average delay time, and the Jan Nayak Express between Amritsar in Punjab and Darbhanga in Bihar, with a delay time of 8.9 hours. The survey also looked at the favourite railway stations for passengers.
Vadodara topped the list, followed by Nagpur and Howrah stations. Among the lowest rated stations were New Delhi, Pune and Kanpur.In terms of favourite trains, the top three were the Bikaner-Delhi SF Express, Mumbai-Jaisalmer SF Express and the New Delhi Duronto Express. The worst-rated trains were the Patna-Kota Express, Jharkhand Express and Seemanchal Express. The survey was conducted among the 20-odd million customers of Ixigo. Dirty trains and platforms As per a survey carried out by the Quality Council of India in May 2017, Darbhanga railway station is among the dirtiest in India. Among a list of 75 busiest railway stations in India, Visakhapatnam was ranked as the most cleanest one, followed by Secunderabad. Jammu railway station occupied the third spot. New Delhi was ranked way behind at Number 39. Clean toilets at platforms, clean tracks and dustbins at stations were some of the criteria for judging railway stations for cleanliness. It is usually the stains of paan, tobacco and gutkha on platforms and trains. The offenders make sure that they spit in the gaps between the doors, windows, and seats. The task of getting the trains cleaned is not only strenuous, but it also adds on the railways'expenditure. Also Read: Indian Railways: Darbhanga, New Delhi among dirtiest, busiest stations Send feedback on dirty toilets, trains If you find public toilets in suburban railway stations of Mumbai in a filthy and unkempt state and extremely unfit for use, you can now send in feedback with just a click of your smartphone. Last month, launched by Western Railways, public toilets across 17 stations in the suburban line will facilitate a tech-savvy feedback mechanism, under which one needs to scan the QR code posted on the toilet walls and provide feedback through his or her mobile phone. The state-run transporter also plans to launch a mobile application for passengers that could list these trains and zones.