Being a scribe attached to a reputed newspaper, an inquisitive Ms Thakur soon found out why the commuters were standing instead of being seated.
Mumbai: When Priti Thakur boarded the ladies compartment of a Virar-bound local train from Bandra station at around 8:45 pm on Saturday, she was surprised to see commuters standing rather than sitting on the row of seats which was lying empty.
Being a scribe attached to a reputed newspaper, an inquisitive Ms Thakur soon found out why the commuters were standing instead of being seated. It emerged that most of them had been bitten by blood-thirsty bugs which had infested the wooden seats of the old-fashioned retrofitted coach.
“While several women were seen scratching their legs due to the bites, a couple of them, including a pregnant woman, decided to brave the bugs by spreading newspapers on the seats and continuing their journey seated, albeit ridden by insect bites,” said Ms Thakur who called up Sanjay Mishra, divisional regional manager, western railway (WR), and apprised him of the situation.
Sensing the seriousness of the issue, Mr Mishra is learned to have relayed the complaint to the maintenance wing, following which, the train was taken directly to the electric multiple unit (EMU) car shed upon reaching Virar at around 9:50 pm.
Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad, said, “It’s indeed a shocking incident. The railway should take proper care of coaches so as to ensure that commuters are not inconvenienced.”
According to sources, the maintenance wing has been ordered to carry out effective treatment to get rid of pests and rodents in all retrofitted WR coaches.