Railways may charge more for passenger amenities

 Railway travellers may have to pay the passenger amenities cess if the recommendations of Passengers Amenities Committee are implemented.

The committee has proposed cess similar to what air travellers have to pay for better services on board trains as well as at railway stations.

The committee, led by Chairperson Chalavadi T Narayanaswamy, after inspecting 45 stations during the past five months recently submitted its report, comprising 11 other recommendations in order to improve the travelling experience on Indian Railways. A meeting will be held with all railway officials and the minister to discuss the report in the second week of February.

Briefing reporters, Narayanaswamy said, “There is no specific allocation of budget for amenities and therefore it should be collected separately. However, its a recommendation and Railways can decide on how much to charge or not.”

“Even bus fares are revised from time to time to provide better services. Railways have a much wider network compared to buses and largely depend on passengers for funds to improve facilities,” he added.

On cleanliness at stations, he said the railways should have a comprehensive policy on maintaining cleanliness in stations and coaches.

‘Mechanised washing’

He said there should be a provision for mechanised washing of all coaches. Similarly, referring to bedrolls being provided in various trains, he said provisions should be made for automatic bedrolls vending machines to provide clean bedrolls to passengers.

Waitlisted passengers

The committee has recommended that more provisions be made by adding additional coaches in trains to accommodate waitlisted passengers, apart from ensuring that platforms are kept free of encroachments.

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