Ashwini Vaishnaw says , development of railway stations is undertaken under Adarsh Station Scheme based on identified need of providing better enhanced passenger amenities at stations

New Delhi : Modernisation/upgradation of Railway stations is a continuous and on-going process. At present development of railway stations is undertaken under Adarsh Station Scheme based on identified need of providing better enhanced passenger amenities at stations. Various passenger amenities such as improvement to facade of the station building, retiring room, waiting room (with bathing facilities), separate waiting room for ladies, computer based public address system, landscaping of circulating area, signages, Pay & Use toilets, water coolers, ramps at entry to station for Divyangjan and Senior Citizens etc. are provided depending upon the respective category of the station identified and developed under this scheme. Indian Railways are also setting up modern facilities like lifts, escalators etc. at railway stations in a progressive manner.

(i)          Major initiative undertaken to improve the quality of catering services over Indian Railways are as under:

    • Upgradation of Base Kitchen/Kitchen Units,
    • CCTV Cameras in upgraded Base Kitchens/Kitchen Units to ensure Real time monitoring through Artificial Intelligence and sharing of live streaming,
    • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) certification of each catering unit is made mandatory,
    • QR codes on food packets enabling display of name of kitchen, date of packaging, expiry date etc.,
    • Hand held Point of Sales (POS) machines to generate printed bills have been provided,
    • Availability of e-Catering service to pre-order meals while booking of e-ticket or on board,
    • Third Party Audit of Pantry Cars and Kitchen Units along with regular inspections and Customer satisfaction survey are being conducted.

(ii)         In order to provide hygienic and quality drinking water to passengers, approximately 9.30 lakh litres of Rail Neer (Packaged Drinking Water) is being supplied to passengers on Indian Railways per day. In addition, Water Vending Machines (WVMs) have been installed at Railway stations across the country to provide drinking water of prescribed standards at affordable rates.

(iii)        With a view to facilitate passengers to obtain reserved as well as unreserved tickets, various steps have been taken by Indian Railways by providing various ticket booking facilities for reserved tickets such as Computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters, through the website of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and through mobile app, computerized PRS counters in Post Offices,  facility to book physical as well as e-tickets through authorized ticketing agents like e-ticketing agents of IRCTC, Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK).

Further, facilities for booking of unreserved tickets are also provided such as Unreserved Ticketing system (UTS) counters at various stations, Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMS)/Cash-coin, through UTSonMobile app and through various authorized agents like Jansadharan Ticket Booking Sewaks (JTBS), Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK), Station Ticket Booking Agents (STBA) etc.

Indian Railways continuously strive to increase revenue through its ongoing transformative initiatives to attract new passenger and freight traffic streams alongwith improved customer experience over its network. The key initiatives by Railways in this regard inter-alia include increasing freight loading, development of Cargo terminal under Gati Shakti Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal (GCT) policy, running of special trains, liberalised automatic freight rebate policy in empty flow directions, short lead concession to certain streams of traffic, discount on loading of bagged consignment in open and flat wagons, station to station rates, containerization of short lead container traffic, running of Time-tabled Parcel trains and Kisan Rail services for movement of perishables and agricultural produce,  introduction of e-Auction for Commercial Earning and Non Fare Revenue (NFR) contracts, Joint Parcel Product (JPP) in collaboration of India Posts for business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) market for e-Commerce and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Non-Fare Revenues from Content on Demand, Rail Display Network, Out of Home Advertising, Unsolicited Proposals, NINFRIS (New, Innovative Non-Fare Revenue Ideas Scheme), Mobile Assets etc.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronic & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

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