New Delhi: The Southern Railway (SR) has decided to suspend onboard housekeeping services (OBHS) on 86 long-distance trains, mostly originating from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, from September 1.

According to news reports, SR is planning to withdraw linen supply, pest control and bio-toilet maintenance contracts on these trains.

Senior officials in Chennai, Madurai, Palghat, Thiruvananthapuram, Trichy and Salem have been informed to issue notices to contractors to suspend OBHS operations, according to a newspaper report.

There are 110 long-distance trains from the Southern Railways, of which the OBHS will be retained only on 24. The services will continue on trains such as the Tamil Nadu Express, Grand Trunk Express, Kerala Express and Navjeevan Express.

In total, 74.5% of the zone’s network is in Tamil Nadu, with the rest running through Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry. It operates a total of 1,313 trains, including suburban ones.

The crunch has already started to affect the condition of trains and stations. According to The Times of India, water availability, track maintenance and cleanliness of stations – particularly smaller and suburban ones – has been impacted. Some stations also do not have medicines stocked.