Mechanised laundry in the offing

Railway station records a footfall of 25,000 passengers; operates 22 trains with AC coaches

It is a common complaint in air-conditioned coaches of trains that the set of linen supplied to passengers, including bedrolls, are unhygienic, dirty and smelly. To give respite to passengers, Indian Railways has decided to set up a state-of-the-art mechanised laundry at the Mysore station.

The decision follows repeated complaints from passengers about dirty linen. As per rule, the railways insists on its contractors to wash the bedsheets after every trip. However, passenger are forced to use stained pillows, bedsheets and bedrolls. Also, the rule says the bedsheets should be used only once after every wash and that the railways should ensure that the trains carry adequate number of fresh bedsheets for the return journey.
 
But, this is hardly followed. The Indian Railways has already setup mechanised laundries at several major stations. According to railway sources, one more will be set up at the Hubli Railway station.

Raj Kumar Lal, Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Western Railway (SWR), Mysore, speaking to Deccan Herald, confirmed the plan. He said, initially the laundry would be run by the railways and later outsourced to private players.

Footfall

The Mysore Railway station records a footfall of 25,000 passengers per day and operates 22 trains with air-conditioned coaches. The total number of passengers travelling in these coaches is around 1,350, excluding chair-car. In view of complaints about poor quality of linen, the railways has revamped its strategy and has started setting up laundries. 

According to Lal, Indian Railways is one of the largest users of linen in the form of bedrolls, being supplied to air-conditioned class passengers.Railway officials admit that complaints on dirty linen has become common. A top railway official, on condition of anonymity, revealed that the railways give contract to persons, who bid for lesser amount. 
Fare

Citing an example of Mysore, the official mentioned that the railways collects around Rs 30, included in the ticket fare, from each passenger for a linen set in AC coaches, while the contractor is paid only Rs 22. Recently, a person from Chennai got not only unclean linen, but it was torn in many places.

He added, not even a single passenger is happy about the linen supplied by the private player, hence it is better for the railways to have its own set up to supply clean items.The laundry would cost around Rs 1 crore and is expected to be executed within two months, Lal added.

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