Private firm to wash rlys’ dirty linen

Faced with the risk of soiling its reputation over complaints of unwashed linen being provided in the AC coaches, the railways has finally pulled up its socks.

Western Railway (WR) has now signed a 10-year contract with Jyothy Laboratories to set up a mechanised laundry plant on railway premises. The land, water and electricity supply will be provided by the railways.

Touted to be the largest unit in the country, it will have a capacity to clean 16 tonnes of linen per day, said railway sources. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2012. The railways will foot a total bill of Rs 65 crore for 10 years, sources told Mirror.

A tender was out in June 2010 in this connection. “Every passenger in an AC coach is given a linen kit comprising two bed sheets, one pillow, one pillow cover, one hand towel and one blanket. In addition, a bath towel is also given to the passenger of 1st AC coaches. However, according to passengers, the linen provided to them are dirty and many a time unwashed,” said sources.


According to sources in the Ahmedabad Railway Division, the railways will provide 1,800 sq m of land to Jyothy Laboratories to set up the laundry plant.

It will also provide water supply and electricity for the operation. However, the company will not be allowed to use the unit for any purpose other than washing and cleaning railways’ linen.

The company will be in charge of collection, transportation of used linen to the unit, cleaning and loading the packed linen to AC coaches.

Laundry collected from around 30 trains at Ahmedabad Railway Division will be cleaned regularly by the company. Sources added that Jyothy Laboratories, the maker of Ujala fabric care liquid, is all set to become the biggest laundry services player in the country.

According to Right To Information (RTI) replies, in 2010-11 railways had received 261 complaints about dirty linen being supplied to passengers; 279 complaints were registered in 2009-10. It had also imposed a penalty of around Rs 30 lakh on the contractor who was supplying the linen.

The railway officials said that despite having hired 12 to15 officers and supervisors to check the quality and supply of linen in all AC coaches in long-distance trains, the problem prevails .

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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