Indian railways is likely to stop providing blankets in the AC coaches in some trains amid reports of unhygienic and dirty blankets being provided to the commuters. The move to discontinue providing blankets comes after the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) in its report slammed the railways on the basis on cleanliness and hygiene maintained in the trains.
As per several media reports, the railways will now maintain a temperature of 24°C in AC coaches instead of 19°C. The move is also being seen as a cost-effective one considering that it costs Rs 55 to clean the bedroll whereas the passengers are charged Rs 22 for using it.
It was also noted that the blankets were not being cleaned as per the railways’ guidelines leading to a number of complaints pertaining to hygiene. “A robust system for procurement, washing, and distribution of linen is necessary to provide clean, hygienic, well-ironed and good quality linen to all passengers travelling in AC classes of the Indian Railway,” excerpts from the CAG report was quoted as saying.
Last year, railway minister Suresh Prabhu had launched a scheme called “personalised take away bedrolls scheme’ where the bedrolls would be disposable and the passengers could also take them home after the journey. However, the scheme has not been implemented as yet.
A number of passengers travelling opting for the Indian railways have often complained of dirty and smelly blankets being provided to them. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha had told the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour in 2016 that while the bedsheets were washed everyday the blankets were washed every two months.
In a bid to tackle the problem of stinky and dirty blankets, the South Central Railway (SCR) had also reportedly started providing special covers for such blankets.
Source: Business Standard
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