IT IS one thing to hear about a cockroach in somebody’s food, and another to find one in your own plate. On May 14, a Mira Road- based family, which was on its way from Goa aboard the 2134 Mumbai Superfast Express was shocked to find a dead cockroach in the vegetable biryani they had ordered on the train.
Yamin Shaikh, who had visited his native town near Goa with his wife, two kids, and in- laws on May 6, boarded the train at 7 pm from Madgaon Junction.
“ We ordered four egg biryanis and one vegetable biryani for dinner. Around 9 pm, the railway staff served us the food.
After a few bites of the vegetable biryani, I spotted a dead cockroach!” said Yamin, who said the sight horrified him. “ I immediately showed to it other passengers, and everyone stopped eating the food they had ordered,” added Yamin, who was in S3 coach.
According to Yamin, when they called the staff to complain, they seemed inebriated.
“ We asked to speak to the manager, but his casual attitude surprised us. All he said was ‘ aisa to kabhi kabhi ho jata hai, kya kar sakta hai ( this happens sometimes, what can be done?’ and they started left. We asked them to return our money,” recalls Yasmin, Yamin’s wife.
Not only has the couple lodged a complaint with the Konkan Railway authorities, but have also preserved the box of leftover biryani, along with the dead cockroach in their refrigerator as proof to submit to authorities if needed.” I am sad that even my kids ate that biryani. Who will take the responsibility if they fall ill?” added Yasmin.
In the complaint letter, the family has asked for compensation. “ When we heard that the food served in Indian Railways is not good, we did not believe it. Our experience has proved it,” said Yamin.
The other side
Passing the responsibility to the Southern Railways, Siddheshwar Telugu, chief PRO, Konkan Railway, said the passengers must have registered a complaint in the register that is available in the coach. “They should approach the Southern Railway,” he added.
On the other hand, Southern Railway CPRO, VJ Accamma, said, the pantry staff does not comprise the railway employees. “The pantry staff is hired by contractors and we are not directly associated with them. If the passenger has lodged a complaint giving all the details about the incident, we will surely verify and take action.”