Archive for December, 2009

Filthy Indian Railways

by admin Dec 28, 2009 8 Comments

The filthy image of India is something we have yet to overcome, and nothing portrays filthiness like the Indian Railways. An Indian’s perception of what is clean is very different and that could be why things are not very clean here. Before my recent train trips, I was given high hopes by many that the trains I will be traveling on will be very clean. So, I was positive, but all that was shattered the instant I stepped on to an Indian train.

The horrible stench, the filthiness all around, the nasty toilets, and even mice and cockroaches running around. I even had to clean the toilet myself before my family and friends could use it. I was surprised that it was this bad, considering that the railways now contracts out most of the cleaning services. So, I decided to email some railway officials regarding lack of cleanliness and here is the email I sent to Mamata Banerjee, the Minister of Railways:

Dear Minister,

The cleanliness levels on Indian trains is so horrible and embarrassing, that I hope this email will lead to some positive action from your end to clean up the trains and stations all over India.

I was recently traveling by first class chair car to Delhi and the toilet was so nasty and filthy, that I had to clean it myself before I could use it (see attached images). Even though the railways has contracted out cleaning services, the cleanliness levels in the trains and stations have not improved. Someone needs to do something here to set proper standards for cleanliness. Take the new Domestic Terminal in Delhi for example. That’s the kind of cleanliness that’s required in trains and railway stations. With a little attention to detail, proper training and supervision, it can be done without having to rebuild everything.

The train I was on was really really bad, even had mice and cockroaches running around, and the stench was horrible. I had written to the railways Chairman, but no response from him/her. I hope you can take some action here. Looking forward to seeing cleaner trains and railway stations in India soon.


Liji Jinaraj

I am sure many of you have experienced far worse, so I have created a Flickr group, “Filthy Indian Railways“, to expose through images the lack of cleanliness on Indian Railways. So, if you have any images which expose the filthiness, do share.

You can also find emails to railway officials here:

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