Travelling in trains ceases to be a joy-ride when the service is pathetic.

I have been travelling in trains since childhood and I haven’t found any improvement in the facilities and cleanliness of the Railways. Recently I had to travel from Coimbatore to Chennai. Due to time constraint, I couldn’t charge my cell phone at home, so I thought of doing it in the train. I found a plug point close to my seat. To my surprise, the plug point was broken.

I had to move to the other end of the compartment to charge my phone but there wasn’t proper supply. So I had to go to the next compartment. There also I encountered the same problem. I was frustrated. I had no choice but to remain silent as a railway official told me many of the plug points didn’t work.

With my phone switched off, I looked around. Everyone carried big bags and two people were talking about the lack of space. People with reservations were in a panic. Though the ticket checker chucked out those travelling without a reservation, they got in again at the next stop. Then some people refused to get off from my berth and I had to shout at them. They didn’t budge. I could not complain as the ticket checker did not return. I climbed up to an empty upper berth, only to see that the fans were not working. Sleep evaded me and I looked around. I saw that there were as many rats in the compartment as there were people!

Despite all this, the Railways insist that they maintain the facilities well. How can they offer such poor service after raising the tariff? People prefer trains as it is reasonable and comfortable. Once I reached my destination, I got down fast and pitifully looked at the people who were yet to reach theirs. Common man can only lament while the Government shows apathy.

Harish is a working professional.

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