New Delhi: The next time you take the AC coach on the train, don’t be surprised if the familiar checkered blankets and hospital-white sheets are missing. Indian Railways will stop providing blankets in AC coaches after a Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report criticised it on grounds of hygiene.
According to a report in Business Standard, AC coaches will administer the temperature at 24-degree celsius, as opposed to the current 19-degree celsius.
Sources from the railways added that it would be more cost-effective if the blankets are removed as it takes Rs 55 to clean the bedroll while passengers are charged Rs 22 for its usage.
According to the CAG report, the bedrolls were not being washed every one to two months as stipulated by guidelines. This was because the railways could not handle the load of linens and resorted to outsourcing the cleaning of the bedrolls. Also, there was the lack of quality control for the washing.
The report had 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 travelling in AC classes of the Indian Railway”.
Although Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu directed the use disposable bedrolls in 2016, it is yet to implemented everywhere. Passengers have also frequently complained about dirty linens and smelly blankets in AC coaches.