Monday, 30th October 2017

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Welcome to Shatabdi Express cockroach coach

Travellers disembarked at Malda station and filed written complaints with local railway authorities

By Soumya De Sarkar in Malda
  • Published 11.09.19, 1:49 AM
  • Updated 11.09.19, 1:52 AM
  • a min read
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“Cockroaches even fell on the food that was served to us. Most of us could not have the food for which we paid. It seems that the coach did not have pest control service for long. For those who travelled till NJP, it must have been horrible,” said Das. (Shutterstock)

Passengers travelling in a coach of the New Jalpaiguri-bound Shatabdi Express from Howrah on Monday said they ran into swarms of cockroaches that kept moving across the coach since sunset.

Some of the insects fell on the food served during the journey, they said.

The travellers disembarked at Malda Town station where the train reached later in the evening and filed written complaints. Some of them tried to draw the attention of senior railway officials, made posts on social media and called up the toll-free telephone number provided by the railways.

Subrata Das and Shubhankar Pal, travelling to Malda from Howrah in the C-2 coach, accused railway authorities of paying no heed to pest control and questioned the quality of food served on board.

“Railway officials should realise that they charge dynamic fares for this train. We pay quite a high price to travel in Shatabdi. It was a terrible experience as we found that cockroaches came out of their hideouts soon after the train started moving. Initially, we ignored it. But with the passage of time, the menace aggravated further. Hundreds of cockroaches started flying across the compartment, much to our irritation. We drew the attention of the coach’s attendant but he appeared helpless,” said Pal, who was returning home from a business trip.

Das, the other passenger in the same coach, said although some passengers communicated the problem to the railways by lodging a complaint through the toll-free number, no step was taken.

“Cockroaches even fell on the food that was served to us. Most of us could not have the food for which we paid. It seems that the coach did not have pest control service for long. For those who travelled till NJP, it must have been horrible,” said Das.

On Tuesday, none could be contacted at the public relations office of Eastern Railway. Several phone calls made to the office went unanswered. A senior rail official in Malda confirmed receipt of the complaint from the passengers.

Other complaints, including those about delays, have been made in the past about the train, the sole Shatabdi in Bengal that runs within the state.