"There are already 21 laundries operational. But 42 more such units will be made functional to cater to the growing demand for clean linen in trains," said a senior Railway Ministry official. Currently, only 30 percent of the total requirement is met from these 21 laundries. "Once the additional 42 laundries are set-up, about 90 percent of linen will be supplied from these laundries," he said.

In view of complaints of poor quality of the washed linen, Railways have revamped its strategy and started setting up its own state-of-the-art mechanized laundries at various locations across India. "With the introduction of such mechanized laundries there has been significant reduction in the number of passenger complaints on linen," he said.

Out of 42 proposed state-of-the-art mechanized laundries, eight are being planned to be set-up in 2013. These laundries are to be set up at Bikaner, Hatia, Chakradharpur, Hubli, Mysore, Surat, Mumbai and Dibrugarh. 21 mechanized laundries have already been set up on Railways’ land in Mumbai, Howrah, Sealdah, Kamakhya, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jammu, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Tatanagar, Indore, Junagarh, Durg, Bilaspur, Samstipur, Danapur and Jabalpur including three laundries on Built Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) model through private investment at Chennai, Ahmedabad and Wadi Bunder (Mumbai).

According to Railways, there is perceptible improvement in the quality of linen washed in the mechanized laundries. A monitoring mechanism is in place to ensure the quality of washed lines, the official said. Indian Railways is one of the largest users of linen in the form of bed rolls being supplied to air conditioned class passengers. A massive 90 million sets of bed rolls are handled by Indian Railways per annum.

(Agencies)

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