Passengers complain of rat and cockroach menace on trains

Packed trains, better passenger amenities and a struggle to maintain cleanliness and punctuality could be the challenges facing South Central Railway (SCR). Another major issue they are confronted with are the pests in the form of rats and cockroaches.

The problem has reached gargantuan proportions and is causing enough headaches to the senior railway officials as practically every train is infested with them as passengers complaints are piling up every day.

Just to give a glimpse of the magnitude of the problem, on an average 92 rats are caught each month and over 3,300 cockroaches per month were being eliminated from different trains at the Secunderabad Coaching depot alone. And, there are eight other coaching depots within SCR limits.

Last year, SCR authorities had received 20 written complaints about rodents in different trains. Of these, three were lodged from the Bangalore Express and two from Narayanadri Express. Similarly, 16 written complaints were lodged about cockroaches and maximum were from the marquee trains of Godavari and A.P. Express.

This excludes complaints lodged through SMS to the central compliant system, reveal railway authorities. Since April this year, authorities claimed to have received just three written complaints due to the pest control measures taken up in trains.

Two rat glue pads in AC coaches are being placed all through the journey and in non-AC coaches, they are placed at night times when the possibility of catching the rats is high. The SCR has also launched an ‘On Board House Keeping Service (OBHS)’ in 16 trains, which have a journey time extending more than 16 hours under Secunderabad division for ensuring better cleanliness during the journey.

Workers are supposed to clean the coach from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the journey. This apart, a supervisor is deployed in every train and one janitor for every three coaches. Disinfestations are also carried out on platforms in all the coaches to eradicate cockroaches, bed bugs, mosquitoes etc, said an SCR spokesperson.

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