Railways likely to not provide blankets in AC coaches

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In the cost cutting move, Indian Railways is likely to discontinue offering blankets in air-conditioned (AC) coaches. As an alternative, it will maintain the temperature at 24-degree Celsius, instead of the current 19-degree Celsius temperature.

The railways are charging ₹22 for the usage of blankets in the coaches while it takes ₹55 to clean the bedroll.  According to the guidelines stipulated by the railways, the bedrolls were to be washed every one to two months, which was not being followed.

 The Comptroller Accounts General (CAG) noted that this was due to the outsourcing of washing, the linen as the railways could not handle the existing load. Also, there was no quality control for the washing through departmental mechanized laundries.
The CAG 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”.
Last year, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu personalized disposable bedrolls for travelers but they are yet to be availed of in full swing.
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