Linen thefts cost railways dearly

Sushant Ranjan
Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Thefts are common in Indian Railways, whether it is mobile phones, ornaments or waste from the yards. However, the railways are also staring at another kind of loss. According to Central Railway (CR) officials, they are facing a revenue loss due to theft of linen items such as blankets, hand towels, bedsheets, pillow covers and pillows.

Pune: Thefts are common in Indian Railways, whether it is mobile phones, ornaments or waste from the yards. However, the railways are also staring at another kind of loss. According to Central Railway (CR) officials, they are facing a revenue loss due to theft of linen items such as blankets, hand towels, bedsheets, pillow covers and pillows. Theft of inventory worth Rs 1.37 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 95.74 lakh current year from April to August took place on long distance trains.

According to the CR, in this financial year from April to August, as many as 17,817 hand towels (total cost Rs 5.6 lakh), 1,166 bedsheets (total cost Rs 2.04 lakh), 828 pillow covers (total cost Rs 29,120), 275 blankets (total cost Rs 1.05 lakh) and 15 pillows (total cost Rs 870) went missing from  AC compartments.
 
The number of linen items that went missing last year (2017-18), is also quite high with 22,890 hand towels, 2,016 bedsheets, 1,660 pillow covers, 1,268 blankets and 784 pillows went missing from the compartments. 

Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of CR said that this is a big headache for the contractor who maintain the linen and he hoped that the passengers should behave more responsibly. “The Indian Railways is a shared asset of all of Indians. It’s our collective responsibility that we use the service responsibly and keep the resources in a manner that others can use it and have a pleasant experience. The incidences of theft of linen and other material such as furniture reflects poorly on the rail users. We appeal to our passengers to behave more responsibly while travelling in the Indian Railways,” Udasi said.

According to officials, whenever pilferage of the linen is found, the supply contractor has to pay for the goods that have gone missing. “The railways recovers the loss of funds due to pilferage of the linen by penalising the supply and maintenance contractors. We are told that the contractors recovers the money from the attendant of the concerned coach,” said a CR official.

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