Bengaluru: In a bid to make travel hassle-free and comfortable for even ordinary passengers, the South Western Railway on Monday unveiled an e-bedroll service that enables those travelling in sleeper class or unreserved coaches to buy at Rs 250 two cotton bed-sheets, a pillow and a blanket for overnight journey.
"The new e-service, offered through our subsidiary (IRCTC), enables passengers to book the bedroll kit when booking the ticket online or from the e-hub at the city station before boarding the train," Bengaluru Divisional Manager Sanjiv Agarwal told reporters here on the occasion.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (ITCTC) has set up an e-hub at concourse of the city railway station to facilitate passengers with e-services such as e-catering, e-bedroll and e-booking of retiring rooms.
"Though we provide bedroll to passengers travelling in air-conditioned coaches by charging for it in the ticket, the new service allows them (passengers) to buy and keep or carry the kit on their subsequent journeys," said Mr Agarwal.
The service also provides an option of buying the two bed-sheets and pillow for Rs 140 and the blanket for Rs 110 separately.
"Unlike in AC coaches, where passengers use the bedroll and leave it on the berth, those buying the kit can take it home and use when travelling next," Mr Agarwal pointed out.
The division plans to provide the new passenger amenity service from Yeshvantpur junction in the city's northern suburb from where dozens of express and mail trains depart daily round the clock to cities and towns across the country.
As part of its novel initiatives to improve amenities, the division has also installed about 10 water vending machines with reverse osmosis process on different platforms of the main city station to provide clean drinking water to passengers at an affordable price.
"We plan to set up 66 machines at other stations in our division, including Bengaluru Cantonment, Yeshvantpur, Yelahanka, Bengaluru East, KR Puram, in the city and one each at Mandya, Ramanagara and Kengari in our division," Mr Agarwal noted.
For 300 ml glass, the charge is one rupee without container and Rs 2 with container, 500 ml for Rs 3 per without container and Rs 5 with container and one litre for Rs 5 and Rs 8, for 2-litre bottle Rs 8 and Rs 12, and for 5-litre Rs 20 and Rs 25.
"The vending machine kiosks are located at one end of each platform where unreserved and sleeper coaches are generally stationed so that their passengers can walk up to them and buy the required quantity of water," said Senior Commercial Manager NS Sridhar Murthy.