Railways faced a lot of backlash from the CAG due to unhygienic conditions with regards to the blankets. Yes, a report by Comptroller Auditor General criticized the Railways for giving dirty blankets to passengers. After receiving this criticism, Railways has taken a big decision.
If reports are to be believed, Railways will discontinue giving blankets to passengers in AC Coaches. Talking about AC coaches, Railways said that the temperature would be set at 24 Degrees C as opposite to the current 19 Degrees C. This way, passengers won’t feel cold and won’t need blankets.
CAG had said that bedrolls were being washed after 1-2 months, which led the blankets to be smelly and dirty. So next time when you are travelling by an AC coach, don’t be surprised at all as you might not find those white sheets and blankets.
Railways also said that removing blankets would prove to be cost effective for them. The cost of washing 1 bedroll is Rs. 55 but passengers are being charged just Rs. 22.
Moreover, Railways wasn’t able to handle the washing load and hence the task was being outsourced. This in turn led to lack of quality control.
Last year, Suresh Prabhu, the Railways Minister has said that disposable bedrolls were a better option. They were made available at Railway station counters and IRCTC website. However not many passengers have used this option. Also, the plan hasn’t been implemented everywhere.