Ever wondered why the blankets provided during train journey by the Indian railways stink so much? It might be because they are washed just once in every two months.
If you observed in your last journey by Indian railways that your blanket really smelled, well, you weren’t being paranoid. The confirmation came from MoS railways Manoj Sinha, who acknowledged in Rajya Sabha this Friday that blankets are washed just once in two months.
Luckily, pillow cases, bed rolls and bed sheets are washed on a daily basis. The minister’s statement was in response to a question on the subject of the hygiene and quality of linen provided by railways. As members recollected their own experiences with railways, the House chairman Hamid Ansari commented lightheartedly that people conceivably needed to start carry their own bedding from home. Sinha added to the statement by saying that it is a “good advice”.
However it wasn’t all stale news. MoS railways Manoj Sinha said that in coming two years 85% passengers will be able to get cleaner linens as Railways is introducing 25 new mechanized laundries. In defense of Manoj Sinha’s statement, the railways justified by saying blankets cannot be washed on a daily basis, and for the same reason they are providing extra bed sheets to all passengers to cover it.
Indian Railways is operating in loss and the Government is unable to increase fares, yet people can’t help but expect better facilities.
In an added justification, a railway official said that the blankets are ‘sanitized’ after every 15 days to exterminate germs and odor. Indian Railways has also started a bedroll takeaway scheme under which a passenger can book a kit online — Rs 110 for a blanket, or Rs 140 for two bed sheets and a pillow — and take it home after the journey.