Train passengers inconvenienced by lack of on-board cleaning facilities

11:12 AM, Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
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railwayMangaluru: Even as the department of railways claims to have improved its services on board its trains, it turns out that the existing trains are not adequately managed. Littering in a superfast train on the Palakkad division serves as an example.

Passengers travelling in the H Nizamuddin–Trivandrum Superfast Express Train recently had a journey worth forgetting, as they were forced to travel in a completely littered compartment. Despite registering their grievance with the authorities, the passengers allege their complaints went unaddressed.

“On boarding the train at Mangaluru Central, we were shocked to see our compartment littered. There was no way we could occupy our seats. Since the train halts here for half-an-hour, I immediately brought the issue to the notice of the duty manager. He made an announcement on the personal address system, asking the cleaning staff to immediately attend to the B 3 compartment.

However, no one turned up. When I pulled the chain, one of the Railways staff members said the train was about to start, and the cleaning staff at Kannur would clean up the mess,” said Rajesh Nair, a passenger.

According to Nair, a cleaning staff member did get into the compartment at Kannur as promised, however, as it was a superfast train, it halted for less than three minutes at the station, and the compartment could not be cleaned. The cleaner however got off the train, promising that his colleagues at the Calicut station would be assigned the task.

However, Nair said the staff at Calicut cleaned only the toilets, and did not clear the litter in the compartment. The travelling ticket examiner, too, allegedly brushed off the responsibility.

Though the litter remained unattended till Shoranur, Nair alleged that the Railway Protection Force personnel were quick to demand an apology from passengers for pulling the chain to stop the train. The passengers had pulled the chain a couple of times between Mangaluru Central and Kozhikode, in order to bring the garbage issue to the notice of the authorities.

M K Gopinath, PRO, Palakkad division, said there is no on-board cleaning facility in Superfast Express Train Number 22634, and that the complaint was attended to in phases. “There is no on-board cleaning service in the said train.

Our cleaning staff attended to the garbage at Kannur, Kozhikode and Shoranur. We couldn’t clean the mess at once because of short stops,” Gopinath said, adding the complaint at Mangaluru Central, “may not have been appropriately conveyed”.

According to Nair, he bought six tickets for the journey from Mangaluru to Thiruvananthapuram, lasting for almost 11.45 hours, for Rs 6,300.


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