Yesterday, this paper ran a front-page piece on what was purported to be Mumbai’s fastest local gathering dust and used by dopers at a rail yard. This Rs 27-crore rake suffered a glitch after it ran at 140 kmph during a trial two years ago. Now this rake, bought of course from tax payers money is being used as a storeroom for scrap at the Mumbai Central yard. It is also playing home to junkies and drunkards.
Railway officials who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed that the rake was filled with filth and scrap besides alcohol bottles and evidence of drug users. It is shocking that such an expensive rake, is lying defunct in a yard with nobody really owning up to who is responsible for this mess. Even if there was a hitch during the trial run, one can only wonder if it takes two years to repair or rectify a problem.
Besides the time factor, if it is so difficult to address this glitch, then, why was this rake not protected and maintained till it could become operational again? Authorities are aware that people sometimes do board empty trains, using them as shelters for different activities. This then should have been on top of the mind when it was in the yard and there should have been somebody guarding this empty rake.
Now, it would take a lot more money to restore it to its original condition besides money for repairs. This again would of course be from taxpayer money. What is depressingly familiar though is the continual passing the buck game, with no one authority claiming any kind of responsibility. Who has to be blamed for this disaster? With lame excuses and inane explanations being trotted out, it is evident that this rotting rake has become a symbol of ineptitude, inefficiency and a gross disrespect for citizens and their taxes.