Passengers on four trains of Central Railways' (CR) Mumbai Division – including the Tejas Express – will soon be able to shop for beauty and other household products including home and kitchen appliances while travelling.
A contract for the on-board cleaning (housekeeping services) and selling of non-catering items in the Mumbai-Pune Deccan Express, the Mumbai-Sawantwadi Tutari Express, the Mumbai-Karmali Tejas Express and CSMT-Madgaon Jan Shatabdi Express has been awarded to Yasht Consultants for a period of one year.
“The contractor will not only maintain the on-board cleaning of these trains but also pay a sum of Rs 35 lakh per annum to the Railways,” a CR official said, adding that earlier the CR needed to spend around Rs 43 lakh annually for cleaning services on these trains. “The contractor will not be allowed to sell any eatables, cigarettes, gutkha or alcohol on board trains,” added the official.
“A catalogue will be circulated among passengers wherein they can choose what they want to buy when the cart circulates. We have prohibited any loud promotional activity for the sale of such goods,” said another official.
Initially, this service will be introduced in the four trains of the Mumbai Division in the first phase and subsequently, more trains will be added as per the feedback from passengers. The goods will be sold on board trains on carts and staffers in uniform will be deputed to sell them between 8 am and 10 pm only.
Asked about the on-board cleaning, CR officials said, “As per the contract, the licensee will clean the coaches as well as toilets of three trains at two-hour intervals or as demanded by the passengers. As for the Mumbai-Pune Deccan Express, the licensee will clean the coaches and toilets at 15-minute intervals or as demanded by passengers.” The officials added that on-board cleaning services have already started on these trains and the selling of non-catering items will start soon.
Meanwhile, CR authorities have already deputed a senior officer to monitor the cleaning of trains. The officer will also monitor online grievances faced by passengers and frequently travel on board these trains to take stock of the situation.
Annual cost of cleaning services on 4 trains
Revenue to be earned through initiative
Coaches and toilets to be cleaned
Every 2 hrs on 3 trains; every 15 mins on Mum-Pune Deccan Express
Cart sales of products
8 am to 10 pm