In what would be welcomed by those travelling in AC coaches in train, the Indian Railways has decided that blankets will now be washed twice a month instead of existing practice of once in two months.
This comes nearly a year after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) shamed the Indian Railways over cleanliness and management of blankets.
The Indian Railways has also decided to replace woolen blankets in air-conditioned coaches with nylon blankets. The new blankets, weighing 450 gm, will have 60 per cent wool and 15 per cent nylon. The previous ones were smaller and weighed 2.2 kgs. They were used for four years.
There is a flip side to this as the life of the blankets would be reduced with increase in number of times they are washed.
There are currently around 3.90 lakh bedding sets, which comprise of two bedsheets, a small towel, pillow and blankets per traveller, provided every day to passengers in AC coaches.
"These blankets with revised specifications should be washed preferably twice a month subject to available capacity... In case of capacity constraints, washing should be done at least once a month. Life of the blankets with revised specifications and increased washing frequency is reduced initially to two years," reports quoted an order as stating.
Officials have also been told to ensure blankets are clean and free of grease, soap, filling or any other admixture which would give them fictitious mass or firmness, reported news agency PTI.