Technology For A Swachh Purpose: Indian Railways Turn To WhatsApp To Monitor Cleanliness Of TrainsIndian Railways takes another big step towards Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat initiative - introduces WhatsApp to monitor cleanliness of trains

New Delhi: Indian Railways takes another step towards Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat initiative – after the launch of the SMS-based service called – Clean My Coach Service, where a passenger can request for a dirty coach to be swept and cleaned by sending just an SMS, now the railways haS planned to deploy WhatsApp to monitor cleanliness of trains and ensure efficiency of the work done by the onboard housekeeping staff. As a pilot project, for now, the Northern Railways has introduced various WhatsApp groups for different departments manning their trains – from pantry departments to bedrolls, toilet cleaning staff and coach cleanliness staff. Every department is included in a different WhatsApp group.

The mandate for onboard housekeeping staff of a particular train is to upload the status report of cleanliness in their particular WhatsApp group on a daily basis. The status report includes photos along with the details of the work done by them during their shift.

These various WhatsApp groups will further be monitored by senior officials to ensure efficiency of the work done by the onboard housekeeping staff.

Cleanliness Status Report On WhatsApp: How It Will Work

Explaining the initiative, Northern Railway General Manager Vishwesh Chaube said,

This is the first time we will be using WhatsApp for official communications. We have made WhatsApp groups for all departments for each of our trains – the employees of each department will be added to their respective group, where the onboard housekeeping staff will have to submit the proof of their respective work done every day. They will have to upload the photographs along with the details of the work done by them in their shift timings. This will then be monitored by senior officials to ensure work completed by the housekeeping staff is up to the mark.

He further said that this move has been taken to ensure that the onboard housekeeping staff does their job well.

This move is to make the Railways staff answerable for the work they do.

Another Clean Train Initiative By The Northern Railway Zone To Get Functional Soon

Along with this step, to further up its swachh quotient, the Northern Railway zone will soon commission an automatic coach washing plant at the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station in New Delhi which can wash a 24-coach train thoroughly in eight minutes. For now, the plant set up at a cost of Rs 1.6 crore, is undergoing trials at the station.

Also Read: Chennai Railway Station To Solve Its Waste Disposal Problem With A ‘Waste To Energy’ Plant

Highlighting the details about this initiative, Vishwesh Chaube added,

This automatic plant will consume around 240 litres of water to wash a coach as against 1,500 litres required in manual washing. Moreover, the unit will use 20 per cent fresh water and 80 per cent recycled water.

Mr Chaube also added that along with these two steps, under Project Utkrisht, eight trains having 16 coaches would be upgraded by the end of 2018-2019.

These coaches would have anti-graffiti exterior paints, state-of-the-art toilet fittings, and odour control system, among others. For keeping the station area and tracks clean, 4,415 bio-toilets have been fitted in coaches in 2017-2018 against a target of 4,000. In this financial year 2018-2019, the plan is to fit 6,000 more bio-toilets to cover all Northern Railways coaches. There is a target of installing CCTVs in 340 coaches – 265 in Delhi and 75 in Ferozpur divisions – for online monitoring of cleanliness and safety.

The addition of the WhatsApp group is the second big green initiative; the Indian Railways has undertaken in this year. Recently, on World Environment Day, Indian Railways started using fully biodegradable cutlery in four Shatabdi and four Rajdhani trains from Delhi, in a bid to replace plastic.

Swachh Rail: Future Plan Of Action

In the coming year, Indian Railways plans to install bio-toilets in all the trains across India by 2019 and make all the tracks zero-waste by 2022. Along with this, another major goal is to phase out the use of polymer plates and adopt eco-friendly biodegradable cutlery completely.

Also Read: 55 Per Cent Of Trains In India Are Equipped With Bio-Toilets, Deadline To Meet The Target Is March 2019: Government

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