New Delhi: Railways Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda has announced a substantial increase in budget allocation for cleanliness in the current year, which is a 40 percent increase over the previous year.

Presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15 in Parliament today, he said, the Indian Railways proposes to outsource cleaning activities at 50 major stations to professional agencies and to set up a separate housekeeping wing to have focused attention and exclusive responsibility of maintaining cleanliness and sanitation at stations.

He said, a Corpus Fund for upkeep of stations will be set up.

The Minister said, use of CCTVs at stations will be extended to monitor cleanliness activities. All-India level complaint/helpline number will be printed on the back of all PRS tickets.

System of periodic third-party inspections will be introduced. Further, Bio-toilets will be increased in sufficient numbers in trains in order to mitigate the problem of direct discharge of human waste on the tracks and platform aprons at stations.

The Minister said, onboard housekeeping services, currently operational in 400 trains, has received good feedback from passengers. This will be extended to all the important trains.

He said, the Indian Railways also proposes to increase mechanized laundries in order to improve quality of the bedrolls provided in AC coaches.

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Free Press Journal