Passenger finds a rat on brand new Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani train

Updated: Mar 09, 2019, 18:36 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar | Mumbai

Commuters complain on social media as brand new CR Rajdhani ferries rats from Delhi to Mumbai

Parag Phatak was travelling in the new Rajdhani Express that was launched in January
Parag Phatak was travelling in the new Rajdhani Express that was launched in January

When businessman Parag Phatak boarded the new Rajdhani Express, he was expecting to experience the coaches that are already a big hit with commuters, but he got a rodent shock instead.

On Thursday night, Phatak noticed a rat in his coach and immediately brought it to the notice of a train attendant, who promptly took it out. After hearing about the incident, Central Railway has said they will try and make things right by maintaining the highest standards.

The incident occurred when Phatak was on his way back from New Delhi on Thursday night. Speaking to mid-day, he said, "I was commuting to Mumbai in the A1 coach of the brand new train. I'm a huge fan of this train. While its newness has been maintained, I sadly happened to see a rat jumping in the coach I was seated in. I brought it to the notice of the train attendant, who promptly brought a sticky pad to catch the rat." Phatak then went on to file a complaint on the Indian Railways' Complaint Management System forum and shared the incident on his Twitter account as well.

He added, "The railways need to upgrade their maintenance standards so that such things do not happen. Rats are known to chew off valuables and could be a big nuisance for senior citizens and children. I appeal to the railways to look at this issue seriously,"  he added.

CR says
Reacting to the incident, Sunil Udasi, CR's chief public relations officer said, "Firstly, there have been no complaints regarding rats in our Rajdhani Express. Secondly, as a practice towards rodent control, we provide glue pads to catch rats during rake maintenance. In one coach, a rat was caught during maintenance. This is standard maintenance activity and is an effort from our side to ensure effective rodent control. Open train yards, longer stabling time and littering in trains are challenges and realities which do affect rodent control. However, we are overcoming all of these challenges by maintaining the highest upkeep levels."

Sources said the rats in Rajdhani trains across India have become a common problem due to the poor condition of the Hazrat Nizamuddin yard lines in New Delhi, where the trains wait between journeys. The yard lines at Wadi Bunder in Mumbai, too need to be sanitised, they added.

Madhu Kotian, member of the Zonal Railway Users' Consultative Committee said this has been a recurring problem on Western Railway's Rajdhani trains too. "Back then, I'd suggested that the railways should rename the train to Rat-rani. But on a serious note why just Rajdhani? Rats are a common problem on many trains and railways should lock the train when it is not in use," he said.

No daily runs
The hopes of running the Mumbai CSMT-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express crashed after the Northern Railway on Thursday sent a letter conveying that it would not be possible to run the train on a daily basis since there is neither any space available for it on the Hazrat Nizamuddin station platforms nor in the stabling lines. The proposal to run it daily was hence rejected.

Also Read: Mumbai suburban trains: Then, now and forever in the city

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