The video, which has gone viral on social media, has thrown up the question of hygiene and safety of passengers who rely on on-board train catering services during a journey.
Mumbai: Digest it if you can! Several mice were seen tasting and feasting on food meant for passengers in the pantry car of the long-distance 11099 Mumbai Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Madgaon Express, Goa, sparking outrage on social media on passenger safety and hygiene standards within the Indian Railways. The incident, which is said to have happened on October 15, was captured in the videos and was shared by a passenger aboard the train on Instagram.
“This is such a rude shock for me as a railfan and as a train traveler. The scene unfolds as I was travelling with my family in 11099 LTT MAO express dated 15/10/2023 which was rescheduled from its original timings from 1:45 midnight to 3:30. Being a railfan I thought of recording the engine coupling to the train so I started walking towards the end. This is where the real shock began. The Pantry Car was almost at the middle of the train which was a Garib Rath liveried coach where i could see Atleast 6-7 rats of which i could film only 4,” the passenger who goes by the handle @mangirish_tendulkar wrote.
However, when he brought the issue to an Railway Protection Force (RPF) official’s notice, the official allegedly said, “Look under the tracks, there are 500-600 rats. What is the problem if 5-6 of them get inside?”
Seeking a more constructive resolution, the passenger then approached Assistant Station Master Meena, who in turn contacted the Pantry Manager. However, the pantry manager’s response was equally disheartening, as he remarked, “There are indeed numerous rats in the pantry. What can we possibly do about it? The railways consistently provide us with only substandard coaches.”
After multiple users brought the incident to the railway authorities’ attention, the IRCTC wrote, “The matter is taken seriously, and suitable action has been taken. Pantry Car Staff have been sensitized to ensure hygiene and cleanliness in the pantry car. The concerned have been suitably advised to ensure effective pest and rodent control measures, which are being ensured.”
The matter is viewed seriously and suitable action has been taken.Pantry Car Staff have been sensitised to ensure hygiene and cleanliness in the pantry car.
The concerned have been suitably advised to ensure effective pest and rodent control measures which is being ensured.
— IRCTC (@IRCTCofficial) October 18, 2023
Reacting to the video, another social media user said: ‘Railway authorities must seriously look into it. @AshwiniVaishnaw @IndianRailMedia It brings a bad name to the nation. A lot of foreign and national tourists travel to Goa for tourism purposes.