Guidelines for Indian Railways indicate that the blankets have to be washed and cleaned every one to two months.However, this was not being followed, due to which the transporter in question was flooded with complaints. However, in a strange turn of events, instead of fixing the problem, the railways is working on a pilot project to discontinue providing blankets in AC coaches of some trains.
The reason cited is huge criticism for Indian Railways unable to provide clean linen. On a trial basis, the railways will maintain the temperature at 24°C in these AC coaches, up from the current 19°C, so that passengers don’t shiver without blankets, an official said.
He also stated that blankets would be provided in other trains as usual. Last year, the railways had started a scheme under which passengers with a confirmed ticket could book disposable bedrolls through the IRCTC website or purchase them from counters at the stations. The passenger could then take it home after the journey.
The Type 1 bedroll kit comprising two cotton bedsheets and a pillow costs Rs 140 while the Type 2 kit with one blanket costs Rs 110. The trains to be brought under this pilot project are yet to be known. We also await reactions from passengers using AC train travel mode.