Coronavirus: Railways start disinfecting Mumbai train coaches

Mumbai, Mar 15 (PTI) As the battle against coronavirus intensifies, the railway authorities in Mumbai have started disinfecting local trains, which carry around 80 lakh suburban commuters everyday, as well as long distance trains.

According to the Central Railway (CR), all the coach fittings, including grab handles, door handles, door latches, entry doors, window grills, electric switches and other parts inside local trains as well as outstation trains are being cleaned using disinfectants.

'In order to ensure cleanliness and hygiene, especially in view of the Covid-19 advisory, special efforts are being put in during primary maintenance of coaches at the coaching depots of CR,' an official statement said.

The CR officials said that they were also focusing on cleanliness of outstation trains.

An intensive cleaning and disinfection of toilets is also being ensured, they said.

The railway authorities said that on board cleaning staff has been counselled for frequent en-route cleaning in coaches. Topping up of liquid handwash soap on board is also being ensured in outstation trains.

Linen cleanliness is also being ensured with laundries and coach attendants asked to ensure availability of fresh linen to customers, the CR said.

'The coaching depot maintenance staff and other staff have been counselled to be careful towards personal hygiene and take guard against infections,' the CR read.

All curtains in AC coaches will be removed within next 4-5 days, railway officials said.

'Special focus is being given to intensive cleaning of toilets, including wash basins, toilet seat with hot water jet cleaning for better efficacy,' the CR said in the statement.

It also said that old blankets will be replaced with new ones immediately.

'All the blankets will be put through the high temp soak in the tumble dryers of the laundries. The high temp soak raises the temperature to 75-80 degrees. This can be supplemented by UV light immersion,' it added.

Railway authorities have also announced to set the temperature at AC coaches to summer settings of 23-25 degree Celsius.

A Western Railway (WR) spokesperson said that in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 blankets and curtains shall be immediately withdrawn from service till further orders.

'Passengers have been advised to bring their own blankets. Some quantity of additional bedsheets may be kept for any exigencies,' the official said. PTI KK NP NP