Frustrated Over Dirty Coaches & Toilets, Passengers Hold Up Super-Fast Train For Over An Hour To Get Them Cleaned
Around 100 passengers onboard the Mumbai-Katra Swaraj Superfast Express, fed up with dirty toilets and unclean coaches, stopped the train for over an hour at Ambala Cantonment station on June 26. Most of the passengers were travelling in AC coaches of the train.
Passengers demand clean-up of coaches and toilets
Reportedly, someone pulled the chain of the train while it was leaving the Ambala Cantt. station. The train runs between Bandra Terminus in Mumbai and Jammu Tawi. The passengers then gathered at the platform and demanded the coaches and toilets be cleaned. They refused to let the train leave the station till the unhygienic toilets were clean.
The protests drew the attention of Station Director BS Gill who rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. Not only did the protesting passengers refused to listen to him, but demanded that despite paying the fare for AC coaches, they did not get even the bare-minimum facilities. It was then that the sanitation department was summoned and all the coaches were cleaned. The train remained stationed for more than an hour till the cleaning was finished.
It was only after the sanitation workers thoroughly cleaned the coach and the toilets that the passengers boarded the train again. NDTV reported that the passengers had trouble using the toilets and even adequate water was not available. They had complained to the coach attendant several times, but the issues remained unresolved. Finally, they decided to protest for its cleanliness.
Such an incident took place even though the ‘Onboard housekeeping service’ or OBHS is in place from 2016 where passengers, with the help of SMS and web-based portal, can get their coaches cleaned during the journey instead of waiting for the cleaners to come in. Presently, the services are active in 2151 trains in India, and Swaraj Express is one of them.
Recently, INC’ Amritsar MP GS Aujla claimed that he had to pull the emergency chain of the Tata Muri express to get its water tank filled after co-passengers complained of non-availability of water. Following this incident, Aujla along with Indian Railways officials even conducted some surprise inspections, reported the Times Of India.
The Logical Indian Take
There have already been many reports that highlight not only the condition of toilets in Indian Railways but also the poor sanitary quality of the coaches as well. The Indian Railways should be more prompt in ending the woes of its passengers. At the same time, it should work towards making their journey as smooth as possible. If people end up resorting to such extreme methods, then it can be problematic and a major inconvenience to those passengers who are rushing to time-sensitive appointments.