There have been an increasing number of complaints against dirty blankets being used by the Indian Railways.
The authorities have now chalked up an action plan to make sure that these blankets are washed frequently.
It will also replace them with lightweight designer ones in phases.
Measures will be taken to make sure that used blankets are sanitized properly too, before reuse.
What’s the issue?
A recent CAG report has pointed out that these IR blankets are extremely unhygienic and go unwashed for as many as six months. The directive was to wash them in every one or two months. It is now being remedied.
As for the new blankets, it has asked Institute of Fashion Design (NIFT) to come up with a lightweight alternative with less wool content.
What is it doing about it?
Railways authorities are presently conducting a test run of ‘thin, cold washable blankets’ in the Central Railway zone.
A senior Railway official privy to it said, the aim of Railways is to provide washed blankets that have fresh linen for each train journey, in near future.
Considering that 3.90 lakh sets of linen are provided every day in AC coaches, it’ll require significant effort.
Things will fall into place
IR has already initiated the process of changing the cover of blankets in some of its sections.
The frequency of washing has also been brought down to fortnightly and weekly instead of the monthly cycle.
Railways also held a linen management meeting to address the issue.
Currently, Railways has 50 mechanized operational laundries and it will open ten more to expedite the cleaning cycle.