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Reportedly the Southern Railway has taken back its decision suspending housekeeping in most of its trains, after the Ministry of Railways sanctioned a last minute payment to continue the services. Meanwhile the Principal Chief Mechanical engineer of the Southern Railway sent a letter to all divisions stating that the order issued for suspending On Board Housekeeping Services (OBHS) on 86 trains is withdrawn. The letter read “This is to advise that as a onetime measure Finance has agreed for clearing the past bills as a special measure”.
Earlier on August 16, the Southern Railway hit by a find crunch and unable to pay its contractors had issued a directive, cancelling OBHS on 86 trains, excluding long distance trains. Furthermore the OBHS that were planned to be dropped due to cash crunch included change in linen, cleaning of coaches and pest control in trains. Reportedly the media reports came following a letter by the Southern Railway that stated that the cleaning services in trains operating under Southern Railway will be stopped from September 1 due to lack of funds to pay the contractors.
Moreover in its letter to the Union government, Southern Railways had stated that the funds in hand were not sufficient to continue the services and that the amount would be enough only to make payments till August-September 2019. Hence the emergency situation arose after the Ministry failed to respond to a request for cash infusion in last month’s meeting.