Train coaches will have 100% bio-toilets by June
Railway Board’s member Rajesh Agrawal stated that the plans of Indian Railways for upcoming years.
The railways has been focusing on upgrading premium trains like Rajdhanis and Shatabdis. All Rajdhanis and Shatabdis would be upgraded to Swarn standards before March 2019 to improve passenger experience. The Swarn standards are about improving coach interiors, toilets, on-board cleanliness, punctuality, catering, linen, staff behaviour, security, on-board entertainment and real-time feedback. The railways will roll out other series of trains like Antyodaya, Humsafar and Tejas in the coming months. The older Integral Coach Factory-manufactured 100 coaches would be upgraded to Utkrisht category by March this year and 500 carriages would be rolled out by the end of 2019-20.
The railways has been planning to upgrade mainline electrical multiple units (MEMUs) and diesel electrical multiple units (DEMUs). To give better travel experience to people travelling in unreserved coaches, the railways plan to replace all the slow moving trains with MEMU trains for which there is a requirement of 6,000 coaches, which would be manufactured in the next five years. To meet the 2018-19 fiscal requirement, the railways will make 1,200 MEMU-type coaches to operate in the golden quadrilateral which is the most congested section of the Indian Railways. It will also upgrade the designs of DEMU, MEMU and electrical multiple unit (EMU) trains. EMU service was introduced 91 years ago and since then the same train has been running; now it will be upgraded.
Railways have undertaken a never-seen-before mobilisation drive where the railways is monitoring all of its 70,000 passenger coaches on computer across the board. There are around 10 key areas that require incremental improvement and the railways would be doing most of it before the end of current fiscal. As an instance, fitting of 100 percent bio toilets in the coaches would be completed by June 2019, which is perhaps the largest Swachhata exercise in the country. The railways plans to stop unloading of night soil and urine and make all railway stations stench-free. Another area is eliminating jerks in the coaches, fitting vacuum toilets and ensuring quick watering arrangements to fill up water tanks of coaches in quickest time. There are plans to introduce automatic coach washing plants in more than 100 locations. The idea is that basic minimum standards should be maintained and then the transporter must turn its focus on the aspirational standards. Train 18 which is recently christened as Vande Bharat Express is one such example of aspirational standards of the Indian Railways.