Giridih/Kolkata: Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) rapping up Indian Railways for not giving quality services to the travelers, is a welcome move as frequent travelers know the condition of railways very well. Right from serving food unfit for human consumption, to passing off dirty linens to the next passenger is a well known fact today. However, did you know that rats and cockroaches are rampant in air conditioned coaches? As for cleanliness of the coaches, the lesser said, the better.
The condition of the trains plying on non-premium routes is even more pathetic. Take the example of this chartered accountant, who often travels to Giridih from Kolkata. On the night of July 23, 2017, when Aakash (name changed on request), a Kolkata-based chartered accountant (CA) and other passengers boarded AC 3 coach, they were in for a horrible experience. Most of the travelers seated in seats 41-48 at B1, in this Kolkata-bound train, couldn’t sleep, thanks to the nauseating stench of a dead rotting rat under one of the berths.
Two coaches, an AC and sleeper coach gets attached to Giridih-Madhupur train (53520), which is later linked to Patna-Kolkata train (13132) at Madhupur Junction.
“It’s not just dead rats that you will find in this coach, but also live rats, moving all over the place,” said a rather disgusted Aakash (see in the picture).
He then added, “It seems, like the coaches are neither checked properly nor maintained, especially, during the time of rainy season. Around same time, last year, when I was travelling, we had spotted cockroaches in the coach,” recalled the CA.
Interestingly, attendants also do not remain in the coach through the entire journey. They often disappear after dispatching the bed rolls.
Sunil Joshi, another regular traveler, is happy that now at least CAG has attested the experience of a commoner travelling by train on regular basis. “In last few years, the fare has also gone up still we do not get clean coaches and now the rats in AC coaches are adding on to our disgust.”
Joshi added, “There are too many issues, the area under the berths and the toilets are also dirty, let’s not talk about them.”
Now, if AC coaches are in such a condition, then imagine the plight of those travelling by sleeper or non-AC coaches.
When eNewsroom contacted, the Station Master of Madhupur Junction, Subodh Sinha, first did not accept the deplorable condition of AC 3 coaches. “As far I know, the coaches are being cleaned regularly, but let me look into the matter again, especially if the passengers are complaining,” Sinha said.