Indian Railways Will Not Provide Blankets In AC Coaches Even After COVID-19 Subsides

No blankets in train

Indian Railways announced that it will not provide passengers travelling in AC coaches with blankets and bedsheets even after coronavirus subsides. The Indian Railways Board Chairman, Vinod Kumar Yadav said that this decision was taken in order to maintain hygiene during the journey following the COVID-19 pandemic. In March when the coronavirus lockdown was announced, Central and Western railways stopped using curtains and blankets in the AC coaches of all trains in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On Saturday, Indian Railways Board Chairman VK Yadav announced that passengers travelling in AC coaches will have to carry their own bed sheets and blankets ‘even after the coronavirus pandemic subsides’. A detailed policy has been formed in this regard in order to maintain hygiene in Indian railways post-COVID-19 as well, he added. “We have decided to give a single-use bed to the passengers or the passengers can carry their own bed sheets and blankets even after the pandemic subsides. For this, a detailed policy has been formulated and a decision has been taken,” said the Indian Railways Board Chairman.

In March 2020, following the COVID-19 outbreak, Indian Railways stopped providing blankets and curtains in AC coaches while stating that they are not washed after every trip even after their instructions. In order to maintain hygiene and reduce the spread of coronavirus, the blankets and curtains were withdrawn from service and the Indian railway passengers were requested to bring their own blankets. New blankets were also ordered by the Indian railways to replace the older ones amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zero-Based Time Table

While rubbishing media reports that the railways may stop operating about 500 trains, Indian Railways Board Chairman said, “No decision has been taken to stop the operation of any train nor will any station be closed.” Yadav also spoke about the upcoming  Zero-Based Time Table which is being developed in collaboration with IIT Mumbai. The Indian Railways Board chairman said that this time table is aimed at reducing the unnecessary stoppage of trains and make rail travel convenient, efficient and congestion-free which will also improve the speed of the train. “It is also possible that some new trains would be introduced or the existing trains might be renamed or rescheduled,” he added.