With a view to facilitate hassle – free passenger boarding,Railways have decided to introduce a slew of measures including setting up of executive lounges and installation of escalators at 50 major railway stations.
Like airport lounge,the executive lounge,a first in Railways,will have facilities like seating arrangement,food and beverage,wheel chairs for senior citizens and the handicapped.
“The executive lounges will come at stations like New Delhi,Howrah,Mumbai and Bangalore to provide value added service at a charge offering concierge services by trained staff for pre-departure and post-arrival assistance to passengers,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.
The lounge will also have Wi-Fi facility,business centre with fax,laptop facility,locker facility and washroom.
Railways have allocated Rs 1,102 crore for 2012-13 to improve passengers amenities services.
“We will also be installing 321 escalators at important stations to facilitate easy movement of passengers in the next five years. The installation of 50 escalators will be commissioned during this year,” he said.
In order to improve the hygienic condition,Railways plans to commission 6 more mechanised laundries to provide clean bedsheets,pillow covers and towels during the train journey. Currently,12 mechanised laundries are functioning.
An approximate 2.5 lakh bedrolls are required daily for trains in the country.
“With the operationalisation of mechanised laundries,it will be easier for Railways to provide clean and steam washed bedrolls to passengers,” the official said.
Railways have announced formation of Railway Station Development Corporation to develop 100 stations across the country.
“There are more than 8,000 stations and efforts are on to provide better amenities like waiting halls,benches,adequate lighting,drinking water,toilets and proper platform services to rail users,” the official said.
An executive lounge is coming up at the Platform 16 in New Delhi station. The lounge,which will be operated by IRCTC,will be have 300 sq m area.
“One has to book the executive lounge in advance before reaching the station and the staff deployed by the IRCTC will be there to receive and provide all facilities,” the official said.
There will be a travel desk at the lounge to cater to the needs of hotel or cab booking,ticket bookings for onward journey and even foreign exchange.
“However,the executive lounge will be available for all class of passengers after paying a certain fee for it. The user fee has not been decided yet,” he said.