Ensure clean linen for passengers: CAG to Rlys

Ensure clean linen for passengers: CAG to Rlys

Plaints of blankets, pillows not being sanitised for long periods

Ensure clean linen for passengers: CAG to Rlys

With passengers complaining about dirty blankets and pillows being supplied on trains, the country's top auditor has said the national transporter must keep a check on quality standards of washed linen.

The Comptroller and Auditor General in its audit report tabled in Parliament said “ Blankets and pillows were not dry cleaned or sanitized for long periods and supplied to the passengers. Electronic instruments for quality measurement were not being used in most of the zonal railways. Due to lack of penal provision in the contract for not adhering to the quality standards, it was difficult to enforce them.”

“Railways needs to keep a check on quality standards of washed linen. A quality benchmark for washing may be enforced. There is a need to strengthen supervision for enforcing contract terms and conditions”, the audit report.

“A mechanism may be put in place to ensure strict compliance to norms of cleaning blankets and pillows as per required periodicity. A system for getting feedback from passengers may be effectively used for improving passenger satisfaction in respect of quality of linen, said the report.

Railways need to increase the pace for setting up of mechanized laundries and prescribe norms for washed linen, the audit report suggested.

Parcel service

The CAG also said that railways did not take adequate steps to put in place infrastructural and other arrangements for improving parcel services, which was estimated to grow from Rs 1,644 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 8,000 crore in 2019-2020.

"During 2013-2014 to 2015-2016, though the parcel earnings increased by 11.4 per cent, the tonnage carried in parcels declined by 6.2 per cent during the same period except in the Northern Railways and Northeast Frontier Railway.

"This indicated that the overall increase in earnings was due to increase in the tariff and not on account of increase in the volume of parcel business," the report said.

As of now, the share of the Railways' revenue from parcel traffic is about four per cent, stagnating at Rs 1,800-2,000 crore in the past few years.

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