The Southern Railway zone is one of the 18 railway zones in India.
It is headquartered at Chennai and was one of the earliest among the 18 zones of the Indian Railways which were created in independent India.
The Southern Railway has its major territory (74.5%) in Tamil Nadu and the remaining in parts of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry.
The Southern Railways operates 1,313 trains which include both regular and suburban trains.
Why is it in the news?
- The Southern Railways has reportedly sent a letter to the Central Ministry of Railways that it is undergoing a fund crunch and has requested the Central Ministry to urgently make funds available for the Souther Railways, failing which it may have to terminate the various onboard services like Housekeeping, linen supply and pest control on the 110 long-distance trains.
- The timing of this issue holds great significance as the issue has cropped up at a time when the Railway Board has put great emphasis on the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) and other associated campaigns that introduced cleanliness in the trains & the railway premises.
- The introduction of the Onboard housekeeping services has led to the reduction in the complaints related to the dirty linens, coaches and toilets in the trains.
- Travelers could register their complaints using the social media and the cleaning staff which was on the train quickly responded to complaints.
Why do the railways divide its territory into zones?
The Railways is huge. Hence, for the sake of better administration and control, it divides the entire nation into smaller railway zones and sub-zones.