Railway Blankets Washed Only Once In 2 Months, Says MoS For Railways Manoj Sinha

27/02/2016 4:43 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Biswaranjan Rout/AP
A child sits on the emergency exit window of a train, held by an adult, at a railway station in Puri, India, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. India's new rail minister Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday proposed allowing foreign investment to modernize the country's cash-strapped state railways. India has one of the world's largest railways, which transports 23 million passengers a day. Indian Railways is one of the world's biggest employers with more than 1.3 million employees. The network lost 300 billion rupees ($5 billion) last year. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)

NEW DELHI -- Ever wondered why the blankets provided by the Indian railways during train journey stink at times? It may be because these are washed only once every two months.

Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour today that while bedsheets, bed roll and pillow covers are washed every day, the blankets are washed every two months.

His reply came to questions raised by various members of the Upper House regarding the quality and hygiene of laundry and linen supplied by the Indian Railways on trains.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari quipped that the earlier system of passengers bringing their own linen and pillows for train journeys seems to be better.

He was supported by a Congress MP who asked the Minister if this would be allowed.

In response, Sinha said it was a "good advice" and the Railways will not have a problem if passengers want to adopt the earlier practice.

The Minister pointed out that while they have 41 mechanised laundries, plans are underway to increase their number by 25 more in the next two years so that these can serve about 85 percent of the passengers who use Railway linen and bed sheets.

He pointed out that in places which are not covered by the mechanised laundries, the job has been outsourced.

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