Oct 1, 2016

No more stinky bedrolls in trains, railway plans to provide washable pillows and blanket

NEW DELHI: Bothered by those stinky blankets provided in trains, Railway now plans to provide washable pillows and blanket covers in trains.

Railways early this year had launched a pilot project of providing blanket cover in First AC coaches of Lucknow Mail. Satisfied with the response it received, it has now been decided to expand similar practice to AC II tier coaches of the same train.
According to railway ministry, it cannot expand it to all trains as of now as it is not possible for logistical reasons. Railway provides about 3 lakh bed rolls every day and the cost of each cover is around Rs 300. 

“We need cooperation from passengers as what we are doing is that in the bed roll kit we will keep blanket cover and they can pull it over the blankets before using. That ways they will get clean laundry and will save time of our limited manpower,” said a senior railway ministry official.

The dirty bedroll provided in trains has become talking point during budget session this year after Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha admitted that bedsheets, bed roll and pillow covers are washed every day and the blankets are washed every two months. He said this while replying to questions raised by various Members of Parliament. Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has then quipped that the earlier system of passengers bringing their own linen and pillows for train journeys seems to be better. Sinha also agreed to it.

Railways had also planned to provide disposable bedroll to passengers but it could not succeed for operational and economical reasons.

There are plans to shift from manual washing to mechanized laundries. There are 41 mechanised laundries and plans are underway to increase their number by 25 more in the next two years so that these can serve about 85 percent of the passengers who use Railway linen and bed sheets.