After Reports Of Unhygienic Blankets, Railways To Buy New 'Easy-To-Wash' Blankets

| July 31 , 2017 , 15:02 IST

After reports of Indian Railway deciding to stop providing blankets in the train, which was in lights of a report revealing the unhygienic condition of those blankets, the department has decided to replace the current blankets with designer and easy-to-wash ones as well as increase the washing frequency.

According to reports, the railway department has decided to clean the blankets on a regular basis.

Although the railway directives are to wash the blankets at least every other month, some blankets go as long as six months unwashed.

To end this problem, the Indian railway has approached the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFT) in order to design lightweight blankets that will be easier to wash. The NIFT is running a trial of 'thin, cold washable blankets' with lesser woollen content that will make the blankets lighter in weight and easier and less expensive to clean.

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A senior railway ministry official said, "Our aim is to provide washed blankets along with fresh linen in trains for each journey."

Currently, the Railway provides 3.90 lakh sets of bed sheet, towel, pillow and blanket to each AC customer in the Indian Railway. The department plans to replace the currently used heavy and woollen blankets with soft and lightweight fabric blankets through a phased manner.

The Railway has already started the process of replacing the cover of blankets while the washing frequency has also changed from monthly to weekly and fortnightly.

The Railways recently held a meeting in this regard with all the key officials including laundry operators, cleaning chemicals suppliers and linen suppliers. The meeting was concluded with railways deciding to improve the hygiene of the provided items.

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The railway official said that the railway is preparing to introduce the soft fabric lightweight blankets and increase the frequency of washing up to every use. The department is also looking to add laundry merchants in order to increase the cleaning frequency. The Indian Railways currently has 50 laundry merchants. It is looking to add 10 more to the list.