Northern Railways washing its dirty linen better | india | Hindustan Times
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Northern Railways washing its dirty linen better

The stained, yellowed bed-sheets and smelly, worn out blankets you got on overnight train journeys may soon disappear from Northern Railways trains, reports Avishek G Dastidar.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2009 02:13 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The stained, yellowed bed-sheets and smelly, worn out blankets you got on overnight train journeys may soon disappear from Northern Railways trains.

Sick of complaints from the passengers, Northern Railways is finally getting rid of them on trains originating from Delhi. Some are a decade old, say officials.

It has terminated its contracts with the three Delhi-based private laundries that did — or rather, hardly did — its washing earlier. A new Noida-based laundry has been given the entire contract for Rs 7 crore annually.

The complaint registers on the trains were filling up at an alarming rate. “Passengers rarely use the complaint register,” said Vivek Sahai, Northern Railways General Manager. “It must really have been too much.”

Apart from employing a new laundry, the Railways discarded around 20,000 sets of old, overused linens.

From almost 100 complaints a month not so long ago, the number of complaints came down to 10 this July. “And in August there were only four,” Sahai said.

Earlier, railway officials used to inspect the bed linen at stations, after the laundries delivered them every day for loading.

Soon, the laundries realised that if they delivered the washed stuff too close to the departure time of the trains, officials would not have the time to inspect thoroughly.

“They cut corners while washing to maximise profits despite us warning them repeatedly,” said a senior railway official.

Now two railway officials are permanently posted at the laundry in Noida to closely inspect the quality of the washing before passing the bed linen on to you.