In One Yr, Passengers Stole 1.95 Lakh Towels, 81,736 Bed-sheets And More From Trains: Report
While the fact that the Indian Railways is a public property is obvious, some citizens take it too seriously. A recent data released by the Western Railways reveals that in the last fiscal 1.95 lakh towels, 81,736 bed sheets, 55,573 pillow covers, 5,038 pillows, and 7,043 blankets were stolen from their long-distance trains. Apart from this, around 200 toilet mugs, close to 1,000 taps, and more than 300 flush pipes were also stolen.
Indian Railways incur losses
Mumbai Mirror quoted Sunil Udasi, CPRO Central Railway as saying that that between the months of April and September this year, items worth Rs 62 lakh were stolen. This including 79,350 hand towels, 27,545 bed sheets, 21,050 pillow covers, 2,150 pillows and 2,065 blankets among other things.
This is not a one-time occurrence as The Hindu had reported that between 2016 and 2017, bed sheets and towels worth Rs 71.52 lakh were stolen from 56 trains in the Mumbai division. Moreover, washroom fittings were also stolen. Reportedly, over the last three fiscals, the Indian Railways have incurred a loss of Rs 4000 crore, where theft acted as a major reason.
The Western Railway sources have been reported as saying that railway property worth Rs 2.5 crore was stolen during the last fiscal. This amount excludes the amount of money required to fix damaged properties. Moreover, the Mumbai Mirror reported that the cost of a bedsheet is Rs 132, while a towel costs Rs 22 and a pillow costs Rs 25. It is the coach attendant’s duty to ensure that every item has been returned by the passenger.
Instances of citizens stealing from the Railways
Instances of citizens vandalising and stealing items from the trains are way too many. Last year, on Tejas Express, passengers stole Jaguar fittings from the washrooms as well as headphones and left several LED screens damaged. Earlier this week, a Ratlam resident, Shabbir Rotiwala was arrested for stealing six bedsheets, three pillows and three blankets. He boarded a long-distance train from Bandra terminus and was caught stuffing the items in his bag. Besides this, instances of people vandalising swanky train coaches have also been in the news recently.
The Indian Railways have been trying to upgrade their infrastructure with state-of-the-art facilities in several of their trains. While this is done for the benefit of the passengers, petty instances like the ones mentioned above have been causing huge losses to the national carrier.