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The Indian Railways ensures that bed linen, except blankets, provided to passengers on trains are washed after every use, it informed Parliament on Wednesday. Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain told the Lok Sabha that more than 65 per cent linen are washed in mechanised laundries set up inside railway premises and the remaining are washed at laundries hired on contracts. "Washing of bed linen (except blanket) is done after every single use. Washed bed sheets, pillow covers and towels are provided to passengers. Blankets are cleaned at least once in two months," Gohain said. The CAG had said in a report last year that various zonal railways did not follow the rule of washing linen after every use.
Instead, they had set periodicity of once every fortnight/month/once in two-three months for washing blankets, it had said. Gohain also said nominated storage places with facilities like racks and compactors are provided at depots for storage of the washed linen and blankets. "Sample checking of washed linen is done before dispatch from laundry. Regular inspections are carried out by officers and supervisors for compliance to the norms for washing of linen items. In case of unsatisfactory work or passenger complaint, suitable penalty is also imposed," he said.