Blankets Used By AC Travellers To Be Washed Twice A Month Instead Of Once In Two Months: Railways
Good news for railway travellers. The Indian Railways announced that in place of washing blankets once in two months, they will be washed twice in a month.
Railways use 3.9 lakh blankets on a regular basis. For AC Tier I passengers, they get a new cover for blankets after every use, but the same facility is not available with AC Tier II & III passengers.
Complaints about dirty blankets have made the officials increase the frequency of no. of times the blankets are washed and replace the existing blankets with a new improved quality in a phased manner. With the increase in the number of times a blanket is washed, the durability of the same is going to be reduced to two years from four. The cost is also expected to be doubled.
Although the cost will increase, the new blankets will be made of a mixture of nylon and wool and are supposed to make the smelly days in AC compartment a thing of the past.
The heavy woollen blankets currently in use cost about Rs 400. With the fabric change, new pricing will be decided shortly, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the task of introducing regular washable blankets for train travellers across the country, reported Economic Times.
Since the price of blankets has not been increased in the last 10 years, the new ones are supposed to cost more. “These blankets with revised specifications should be washed preferably twice in a month subject to available capacity and logistics arrangements. In case of capacity constraints washing should be done minimum once in a month,” according to the order issued by the railways to all zones.
Based on field experience, washing frequency and life of blankets with revised specifications may be reviewed further after about one year, it further said. Used blankets would be sanitised regularly before giving it for further use.
The Railways have also undertaken to build state-of-the-art mechanised laundries at many stations to cope up with the increased laundry load. Currently, there are 50 mechanised laundries that are operational and 10 more would be opened soon.
Our aim is to provide washed blankets along with fresh linen in trains for “each journey,” the official said adding: “Efforts are on for improvement of linen management to arrange clean, hygienic and good quality linen to passengers travelling in AC classes.”
The Logical Indian Take
A CAG report stated that even though the blankets that are provided in trains are supposed to be washed once in two months, many of the blankets were not even washed for six months.
For all the people who are grossed out at the thought of using used and unwashed blankets, do keep in mind that railways require 3.9 lakhs of them in a single day. Washing them regularly is not possible as that would require a humongous amount of water in our already water-short country. Also, regularly washing blankets reduces their durability.
So, it is always advisable to carry your own blanket. This way, the burden on the railways would be reduced, water usage would drastically decrease and you don’t have to wear used blankets.