Big relief for Indian Railways passengers! This smelly affair set to end
With the increase of washing frequency, the service life of blankets will also be reduced to two years from the existing four years and the pricing is also likely to almost double, said a TimesNow report. According to the revised norms, the new blankets will be a mix of woolen and nylon to make blankets odourless for AC passengers though it will cost double from the existing price.
An Indian Railways train trip is always a smelly affair. To the problem is added the odour emanating from the blankets that is provided to passengers. Well, now the problem is over. After being flooded with complaints of unhygienic and dirty blankets, Indian Railways has decided to increase the frequency of washing of these blankets and replace the existing ones in a phased manner. The national transporter, which needs about 3.90 lakh blankets daily for its AC passengers across the country, has decided to wash blankets for these coaches twice a month. The existing practice has so far been that blankets are washed once in two months - the material has also been changed to make it washable-friendly.
With the increase of washing frequency, the service life of blankets will also be reduced to two years from the existing four years and the pricing is also likely to almost double, said a TimesNow report. According to the revised norms, the new blankets will be a mix of woolen and nylon to make blankets odourless for AC passengers though it will cost double from the existing price. The heavy woolen blankets currently used cost about Rs 400 and with the change in fabric, new pricing will reportedly be decided soon, said the report citing a senior Railway Ministry official.
Notably, the prices of blankets have not been revised in the last 10 years. AC 1st class passengers reportedly get a changed blanket cover after every use, but the same facility is not available for the AC IInd and IIIrd class travellers.
According to the order issued by the Indian Railways to all zones, "These blankets with revised specifications should be washed preferably twice in a month subject to available capacity and logistics arrangements. In case of capacity constraints washing should be done minimum once in a month."
The order further stated that based on field experience, washing frequency and life of blankets with revised specifications may be reviewed further after about one year.
A CAG report had recently highlighted unhygienic condition of blankets which were not washed for even six months. After that the Railways has undertaken steps to set up state-of-the-art mechanised laundries at many stations to cater to the increased requirement of daily washing of bedrolls, including blankets.
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There are about 50 mechanised laundries operational at the moment and 10 more will be opened shortly.
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