New Delhi, October 14: Indian Railways is considering to remove curtains that cover the passenger cubicles in air-conditioned (AC) two-tier coaches and provide them privacy as it is finding it difficult to clean the drapes. Indian Railways may replace curtains with blinds to assure passengers of continued privacy. A final decision in this regard will be taken by the end of this month.
While the curtains are meant to provide privacy, passengers often use it for wiping their hands and cleaning their footwear. "Not only maintenance of curtains is difficult, passengers use them for cleaning of shoes and sometimes as towels,” a railway board official told Hindustan Times. He said passengers who want privacy can opt for 1AC coaches.
Since drapes are washed once in a month, they often get dirty because of the misuse by passengers. “There are two proposals, and we will finalise 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," another official was quoted as saying. Cyclone Titli: Railways to Run Bhubaneswar-Bangalore Special Train.
In 2014, Indian Railways decided to remove the curtains from air-conditioned three-tier coaches following an incident of fire on the Bangalore-Nanded Express when drapes helped spread the flames. 26 people lost their lives in the incident. Although the curtains were made of a fire-retardant material, Indian Railways removed them.