In a bid to reduce wastage of water on board its premium Shatabdi trains, railways have decided to provide 500 ml Rail Neer bottles to passengers travelling long distance instead of the standard one litre bottles. According to an order issued by the Railway Board, Shatabdi trains which have a maximum run time of around 8.5 hours will no longer be providing 1 litre bottles of water to passengers travelling for more than five hours as was the norm earlier.
"Currently, passengers who travel for five hours on Shatabdi trains are given 500 ml water bottles while those with travel time of more than that are given 1 litre bottles. Now, everyone will be given 500 litre bottles as we have seen that water in bigger bottles is being wasted," said a senior official of the ministry.
The order also states that passengers can get extra bottles, but they would have to pay for it. A chair car service, Shatabdi trains are for short journeys, the longest travel time is between Delhi and Bhopal which is 8.5 hours. The order stated the scheme will be in effect for the next three months.
The Railways have decided to convert 200 saloons into 10 luxury tourist trains to be run by the IRCTC. This is done in a bid to regulate the use of the colonial era-style carriages and generate additional revenue for the national transporter, sources said on Friday. Conceived initially as inspection cars to be exclusively used by railway officials to visit far-flung areas, these saloons comprise two bedrooms, a lounge, a pantry, a toilet and a kitchen that are built to facilitate the stay for up to five days.
Last year, amid concerns over misuse of these saloons by officials, Railway minister Piyush Goyal had given up the use of his own personal ones, calling them "trappings of a colonial mindset". He had also urged zones to give up saloons for public use. Sources said the Railway Board has prepared a set of instructions for its zones to "strictly regulate" the number and use of such saloons. It also said that these should be used primarily for inspection purposes with a focus on safety.