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Railways might remove drapes from 2AC coaches

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The Indian Railways is finding it so tough to clean the curtains.  These cover the passenger cubicles of air-conditioned 2 Tier coaches on its trains. So they might just remove the drapes.

A lot of passengers use the curtains for reasons like wiping their hands and cleaning their shoes. The senior officials of railways have said that this makes it tough for the railways to maintain the curtains that are meant to provide privacy to travelers.

Once a month the curtains are washed. With the regular use, they often get dirty. Some board officials aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity that a few meetings have taken place to discuss the matter and the subject of privacy. So blinds are going to replace the curtains. This will also assure passengers with continued privacy as well.

One of the officials, on requesting anonymity has said and we quote “There are two proposals and we will finalize one of them by the end of this month. Replacement with blinds will require capital expenditure and though there is no dearth of funds, the money can be used elsewhere. In the meetings, we have discussed the alternatives and will soon take a call,”

The reason behind the removal of curtains from 3 tier coaches 

In the year 2009, Indian railways had decided to put curtains in the aisles of all AC Three-Tier coaches to offer privacy to passengers.

In the year 2014, citing safety reasons Railways had removed the curtains covering cubicles in air-conditioned 3 Tier coaches. The authorities took this decision after a tragic blaze on the Bangalore-Nanded Express. This train drapes that caught fire helped spread the flames. Twenty-six people, unfortunately, died in the fire.

The manufacturers use a fire-resistant material to manufacture the curtains. The board decided to remove them on the recommendations of an inquiry committee. They had reported that drapes may help spread fires. The drape on windows is still present in both AC Three Tier and Two-Tier groups.

Another railway official said that “Those looking for privacy can opt for 1AC coaches where they can travel in a cabin. Not only maintenance of curtains is difficult. The passenger uses them for cleaning of shoes and sometimes as towels.”

Former Railway Board chairman RK Singh had given his support to the proposal. They have to remove the curtains. He said and we quote “Curtains are unhygienic and when we are talking about cleanliness in general. The authorities should remove them first as they are a source of many diseases,”. “Because of the traffic volume and insensitivity of passengers, it is impossible to maintain curtains.”

Prime railway 224 acres land remain unused

The 224 acres land that the Southern Railway owns at the locations of within the Kochi Corporation limits is not in use. They can easily develop them as hubs for rail transit. The official of the agency has said

“Redevelopment of the station as a major hub in fast-developing Kochi is a priority area since there is no space for more platforms at the congested Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town railway stations,”