Amidst COVID-19 concerns, Indian Railway had decided to not provide blankets and bedrolls in trains. According to the reports, Indian railway is not giving bedrolls in trains for almost 28 months. Through this, they have saved crores of rupees, and to make it worse the ticket fare has increased up to 30% in the name of special trains. With the ongoing festive season travels and the first chills of winter, the need for the blankets during the travel is likely to increase.
No blankets saved crores for Indian railway
In June 2020, after first wave of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown, the Indian railway started special trains for urgent travels. To contain the spread of virus among the passengers, Railway stopped giving bedrolls and blankets in AC coaches. However, there was no change in the train ticket fare. Passengers were paying the same prices of tickets that they had been paying before this rollback. Instead in the name of special trains, ticket fares were raised up to 30%.
According to Dainik Bhaskar’s Exclusive Report, in Raipur and Bilaspur zone Railway saved ₹12.60 crore in 28 months. Every month they saved ₹45 lakh by not providing passengers with the facility which the Railway is charging for in the ticket fare.
After 28 months of this step, the Indian railway is still reluctant to restart this facility. The reason behind this could be the money that the Indian railway saving from this.
What all amenities does the Railway provide for AC coaches?
In air-conditioned(AC) coaches, passengers were given one blanket, two bedsheets, a pillow cover, and a face towel. After completion of the journey, Railway staff used to collect these amenities.
The railway is preparing new guidelines for bedrolls in trains. According to reports, now passengers may get these amenities on-demand only. It is also possible that the railway might charge extra for this.