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Coming under fire for supplying dirty blankets to passengers, the Indian Railways is coming up with a new solution: to increase the temperature in trains and remove the need of blankets altogether.
A recent report by the Comptroller Auditor General criticised the railways on a lack of cleanliness and hygiene in trains and stations along with a poor quality of food. Although railways guidelines stipulate that blankets are to be washed every one to two months, it was found that the rule was not being followed.
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On a trial basis, the temperature in certain AC coaches will be increased to 24°C from the current 19° C so that passengers would not require blankets.
Discontinuing providing blankets is also weighing out to be beneficial economically as cleaning each bedroll costs Rs 55 while the passengers are charged only Rs 22.
Another attempt at hygienic bedding had been made last year when the railways launched a scheme according to which passengers with confirmed tickets could book disposable bedrolls through the IRCTC website or purchase them from station counters. After using, the passenger can take home the bedding if desired. The bedroll kit costs between Rs 110 and Rs 140.