Now, Swachh survey to rank railway stations

As many as 400 busy stations will be assessed based on their footfall, earnings and the categories that Railways already has for classifying its stations.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi | Published:January 15, 2016 3:39 am

After cities, it’s now time for railway stations to figure in a new list of Swachh Bharat rankings. So, how clean is your station? Railways don’t want to do a poll or carry out inspection of stations itself to get to the answer. Instead, it has given the job to a professional agency to carry out a third party audit of cleanliness — a first in the country.

Market research company, TNS India, has been given the contract to finish the job in one month. It has been given certain parameters including objective assessment, statistical analysis, public perception (to be gauged by sample surveys) to work out an index.

As many as 400 busy stations will be assessed based on their footfall, earnings and the categories that Railways already has for classifying its stations. The process begins on Friday and will conclude on February 15, well in time for it to be mentioned in the Rail Budget.

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Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has also decided to institute an award — Swachh Railway, Swachh Bharat — from this year for the top “performers” based on the rankings, sources said.

The auditor has been given a list of 47 parameters or indicators classified under ‘Infrastructure and enabling provisions’, ‘Process adopted for cleaning’, and ‘Outcome on upkeep and cleaning’. They also include, among others, presence of stench on the station premises, control of rodents, mosquitoes and flies, evidence of effectiveness of inspectors, and use of CCTVs for cleanliness.

“Cleanliness is highly subjective. At the same time, merely by looking at the number of persons fined for littering one may not get the real picture of how clean a station really is. So, the idea is to carry out a scientific audit. We cannot be our own judge on this,” said A K Manocha, chairman and managing director of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which is anchoring the task on behalf of the ministry.

There are 7,000-odd stations in the country, but out of them 400 of the busiest have been selected based on the idea that the more footfall or trains a station gets, the more prone it is to getting dirty.  The list includes 75 stations from A1 category (non-suburban stations with an annual passenger earning of more than Rs 50 crore) and 332 from A
category (non-suburban stations with annual passenger earnings between Rs 6 crore and Rs 50 crore).

Around 400 passengers from each A1 category station and 300 from each A category stations will provide feedback as part of the audit. The audit will also take into account that the cleanliness parameters cannot be the same for a station such as Thane, which is small yet gets around 6.5 lakh passengers a day, and for New Delhi that is huge and gets around 3 lakh footfalls.

Based on this brief by the ministry the company is working out its strategy to go about the audit. Sources said the idea is to finish the job well before the Rail Budget.

They also added that a series of high-level meetings has already been held at the ministry on this, including one on Wednesday. Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu, who returns from the United States next week, has sought to know the progress on the matter upon his return, said sources.

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  1. B
    Bijan Mohanty
    Jan 15, 2016 at 11:04 am
    Only surveys are being done. And great ads are aired in TV channels. Where is action on the ground ?
  2. N
    Jan 19, 2016 at 11:44 am
    One look at the Mumbai Metro and you know anything is possible... Excellent job!! It should be viewed as the model for all other stations in India!
  3. P
    P Ganesh
    Jan 15, 2016 at 10:10 am
    Instead of cleaning took place or not we should audit people's initiative towards not to make dirty by throwing papers, pockets and covers especially used during journey on trains. CCTV cannot stop person throwing but one should engage volunteer's on civil dress on every station, so that those throwing will not know and can be caught immediately. So Govt. need to appoint an agency for that purpose instead of auditing how much cleaned is or not.
  4. R
    Rajat Purkayastha
    Jan 15, 2016 at 3:43 am
    The new initiative launched by the Railways on the theme of Swachch Bharat is going to instill the spirit of 'cleanliness is godliness'. The most vital aspect of health and wellbeing of pengers will be taken care of by this ambitious step taken by the Railways. The ministry of railways deserves kudos for this visionary approach.