Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"A mechanism may be put in place to ensure strict compliance to norms of cleaning blankets and pillows as per required periodicity," the CAG report recommended.
By Ravi Kaushal | Updated: July 23, 2017 

New Delhi, July 23: In its latest report on the functioning of railways tabled in Parliament, Comptroller and Auditor General of India not only made some shocking revelations about the quality of food served during the journey, its report also reflects the deteriorating status of sanitation and cleanliness about the linen and pillows too.

The top auditor highlighted the average span of cleaning a linen in the select laundries remained 6-26 weeks. Collected data from 33 selected depots during the review period 2012-2013 to 2015-2016, the auditor found in 14 depots of nine zones, blankets were not washed during the review period. Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Mumbai), Sealdah (Kolkata), Gwalior, Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Lucknow, Secunderabad, and Hatia and Tatanagar (in Jharkhand) depots washed the linen between an average span of 6-26 weeks.

CAG further reported the basins where fresh and discarded linens were kept, the basins used the discarded bed sheets for stitching pillow covers to meet the shortage of supply. Expressing unhappiness over the bizarre affairs, it noted railways should speed up the process of setting of more mechanised laundries.

It said, “A mechanism may be put in place to ensure strict compliance to norms of cleaning blankets and pillows as per required periodicity.” The report further found irregularities in issuing the linen and their storage. It said most of linen and towels were exposed to dirt. Similarly, many depots had not issued the lot of linen during the review period.

In the South Eastern Railway, bedsheets (life cycle of 12 months) and pillow covers (life cycle of nine months) were not utilised for seven months. Face towels (life cycle of nine months) remained unutilised too for five months at the depots. The report warned the condition may make passengers ill. It stated,“Blankets and pillows were not dry cleaned and/or sanitised for long periods before supply to the passengers,”

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