By Rajendra B Aklekar, Mumbai Mirror
The Western Railway (WR) has trapped more than 200 rats in a month at its yard in Mumbai Central following a rash of complaints about the pest menace aboard the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express.
It has also placed glue-pad traps in the train’s German-designed luxury coaches to catch the rodents.
The Rajdhani is touted as the railways’ showpiece train, but lately there have been complaints about cleanliness and the presence of rats.
“They (rats) are everywhere, and not just in Rajdhani. Last week, I was travelling on Haridwar-Bandra train that I had boarded at Ratlam. A rat damaged my bag by biting it,” said Shailesh Goyal, a member of Western Railway’s zonal railway users’ consultative committee. “The railways have been trying to fix the problem for quite sometime, but it does not seem to be working.”
Goyal said that it was particularly baffling since tenders worth crores of rupees were issued for pest control on trains.
Railway officials say passengers are to blame as they bring food inside trains and don’t properly dispose of empty packets. An official at Mumbai Central said that the railway yard there was much cleaner than the yard in Delhi.
“There is dense grass at the Delhi yard, from where rats get into the trains. At Mumbai Central, we have filled up all the burrows,” the official said. “However, we have now started setting up traps in compartments after the train arrives in Mumbai.”
WR spokesperson Sharat Chandrayan said that there had been only one complaint about the rat problem in the past year. “We have taken adequate measures, following which the complaints have come down drastically,” he said.