Railways spokesperson tells TNM that a final decision is yet to be taken.

Will Indian Railways discontinue giving blankets for AC travellers All you need to knowPTI/Representational Image
news Railways Wednesday, August 02, 2017 - 18:20

If you were worried about having to lug along your own blanket while traveling in AC coaches of Indian Railways, there’s some good news for you.

Recently, many media reports said that the Indian Railways is mulling a no-bedroll policy following a scathing report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on the senior lapses in terms of cleanliness by the Railways.

One such report also quoted an official saying that temperatures of the rakes would be increased to 24 degree Celsius from 19 degree Celsius.

Offering clarity on the issue, Railway Ministry spokesperson Anil Kumar Saxena rubbished such reports while speaking with TNM on Wednesday.

However, Saxena said, “We are experimenting and exploring using a thermal controller in one Three-tier AC coach of Delhi-Jammu Mail, which controls the humidity and temperature. We are studying if passengers are asking for blankets. We have not taken a decision, but it might be that if the humidity and temperature is optimised, blankets won't be required,”

Saxena said the Railways are also speaking with experts, apart from collecting daily data about how many passengers are asking for the blankets, to confirm the practicality of this move.

Other than this, Saxena spoke about other decisions taken by the Railways regarding bedrolls.

“On May 15, the Railway Ministry took a decision that in AC Class 1, we will provide blankets with washable covers. The covers will be washed after each trip and now this is implemented in all the zonal railways,” Saxena told TNM.

For AC-2 tier, Saxena said, “The current practice is to dry wash the blankets once in two months. But the feedback is this is not adequate, so we are working to reduce this frequency to maybe a week or 15 days.”

“Moreover, a pilot project introducing a new type of machine washable blankets is underway at the Central Railways for Vidarbha Express,” Saxena said.

“On 11 July, we also called for a meeting between all stakeholders including linen, blanket manufacturers, for their suggestions. We are also taking note of those,” he added..

The Ministry of Railways has also asked the National Institute of Fashion Technology to improve the quality of the blankets.

“We have told the NIFT to reduce the size and improve the quality of our blankets. We have got feedback that the breadth of the blankets are much wider than required. We are exploring options of resizing the blankets,” Saxena told TNM.


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