According to a Business Standard report, the Indian railways are most probably to stop providing blankets in their air-conditioned (AC) coaches, following an inspection of the Comptroller Accounts General (CAG) it over cleanliness and hygiene issue. Finding its alternative, the Indian railways will set the AC temperature at 24 degree Celsius, escalating from the ongoing 19-degree Celsius.
There was a more inexpensive option to remove the blankets, noticing the fact that it takes Rs 55 to clean the bedroll whereas passengers are just charged Rs 22 for its use, said an official to the Business Standard. Talking about the guidelines specified by the Indian railways, the bedrolls were required to be washed after every one to two months, but it wasn’t being really followed. The CAG, on the other hand, also stated that it was due to the outsourcing of washing the linen as it was becoming difficult for the railways to bear the presented load. Interestingly, there was no quality control for the washing as there were no departmental mechanized laundries available.
The report said, “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 traveling in AC classes of the Indian Railway.” “Necessary clearances for operating 26 of 30 mechanized laundries were not obtained from respective state pollution control boards. Effluent Treatment Plants were not installed in case of 15 of the 30 laundries,” the CAG report continued. However, the Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu made to order for the disposable bedrolls for the passengers a previous year, but they are yet it has to come on the full swing on ground level.