The quality of bedrolls has,for long,been a source of much discomfort and discontent for passengers traveling on Indian Railways. Now,a pilot project to introduce bio-degradable,disposable bedrolls could change forever the way bedrolls are provided on trains.
In a first-of-its-kind initiative,the Southern Railways is all set to introduce bio-degradable,disposable bedrolls in the AC First Class compartments of the Pandyan Express that runs between Chennai and Madurai.
Under the project,Southern Railways will supply two bed sheets and a pillow cover made of viscose to passengers,neatly wrapped in a paper envelope,at no extra cost. The plan is to run this pilot project for a month before taking a final call on whether to continue with the system.
The pack containing the bedroll will have a letter informing the passengers about the new experiment. The letter will also encourage passengers to take this biodegradable bedroll with them once they complete their journey. The pack will also have a feedback form asking for user comments, a Southern Railways official told The Indian Express.
In addition to the increasing number of passenger complaints about the conventional bedrolls,what further prompted the Southern Railways to try out this idea was the fact that many bedrolls were getting stolen from running trains.
We have been providing pillow covers made of viscose in the past. We discovered that a lot of hospitals were using disposable bedsheets made of the same material and decided to try it out for the bedrolls. We are now procuring 1,700 bedrolls from a private manufacturer in Coimbatore for the pilot project, another Southern Railways official added. Passengers on this train,however,will have the option to go in for the conventional bedroll if they desire.
While this disposable bedroll costs Rs 38 per set as of now,Railways officials are not too worried about the cost. Washing a conventional bedroll set costs Rs 20 per trip. And one bedroll lasts around 100 washes. If this trial is successful,getting more disposable bedrolls could bring down its unit cost in the future, explains an official.