[box type=”shadow” ]For the first-time ever, the Indian Railway Board authorities and the Indian Laundry industry shared a forum to address the issues faced by the Indian Railways and the suitable solutions that could be adopted for quality results. “We thank Mangala Chandran, Editorin- Chief of Clean India Journal, for coming to Delhi and inviting Hon’ble Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to Clean India Technology Week. Following which all the zones of the railways have come here to the show. Otherwise, we would have missed this Show and this meeting,” said Alok Kumar Tewari, IRSME, Advisor (Environment & Housekeeping Management), Ministry of Railways (Railway Board). He was accompanied by Arjun Mundiya, Chief Mechanical Engineer, South Central Railway at the high-level closed door meeting with the laundry industry. Representing the Laundry industry at the meet, were[/box]
• Akash Dharamsey, Director, ADD Laundry Concepts Pvt. Ltd;
• Xavier Salas, International Sales Director-Girbau SA;
• Anshul Gupta, Partner-Quick Clean Pvt. Ltd;
• Tushar Goswami, Sales Manager-Laundry India, Electrolux Professional;
• Kho Tjin Hok, Lagoon Specialist-APAC, Electrolux;
• Suresh Goel, Managing Director, Supershine Laundry Systems Pvt. Ltd;
• Dirk Mertins, General Manager, Seitz;
• Ayush Khanijo, Manager Business Development, Seitz;
• Joby K.M, Managing Director, Launmark;
• Sudhir Batra, Managing Director, Mercury, and
• Vipul Kattar, Mercury
Addressing the industry, Alok Tewari raised two questions:
• How to take care of blankets and effectively ensuring that it lasts its lifecycle?
• If the stakeholders are prepared to set up laundry for the railways on a variable quantity model over a period of 10 years.
“With the Swachh Bharat and the ‘Rail bhanega to desh bhanega’ mission in full swing, the Indian Railway is concerned about the cleaning of its linen- particularly the blankets. We want the passengers to feel that the blankets are as clean and fresh as the other amenities provided on the train.
“Earlier the washing of the blankets was done once in two months and now we want to do it once in a month. The blankets are made of wool and it does not take the washing kindly,” said Alok Tewari. Explaining the type of blanket presently being used by the Railway, Tewari said that the blankets are 50- 60% wool and the rest is cotton. Thus, it is dry cleaned.
Unlike the common belief of the railway officials that woollen blankets would deteriorate through wet washing, the Laundry Industry enlightened them about various processes and solutions and proper washing systems by which blankets would last the lifecycle specified by the manufacturer. The industry also discussed processes to save on the fabric and the use of the right detergents.
“Blankets are washable even though the care label says they have to be dry cleaned. It is a different case with hotels or hospitals where the stain agents are different. It just needs the use of lukewarm water and softener and should not be overheated in the dryer,” explained Suresh Goyal.
“Wool is a delicate material. It cannot be dry cleaned since it is cancerous and the process is not green. However, wet cleaning can be done successfully provided the materials used bear a wool mark. Approved detergents along with proper washing and drying can provide a complete solution,” said Anshul Gupta.