In what seems to be a big blow to most passengers of Indian Railways, the ministry is working to discontinue providing blankets in some AC trains. This decision has come after numerous complaints regarding dirty blankets were made by passengers in the recent past.
In its report furnished in the Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) criticized the Indian Railways on their poor maintenance of hygiene and cleanliness in both trains as well as stations.
Alternatively, the Railways is planning to maintain the temperature around 24 degrees in these AC trains where there won’t be any provision for blankets. The current temperature is maintained around 19 degrees.
Furthermore, the initial estimate suggest that the plan to do away with blankets in the AC coaches could prove to be an economical one as it takes around Rs 55 to clean a bedroll whereas passengers are charged nearly Rs 30 less.
According to the guidelines furnished by the Ministry of Railways, the blankets are to be washed every one or two months. It is the failure to comply with the guidelines in certain trains that had the passengers complain against such mismanagement.
Last year, the ministry came up with a scheme under which passengers with confirmed tickets could book disposable bed rolls through the IRCTC website or even purchase them from selected counters at the stations. Such bedrolls can be taken by the passengers after the journey.