The Ernakulam District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Railways to pay a compensation of Rs.50,000 to a passenger who was forced to travel in unclean third class air-conditioned coach instead of the originally booked second class A/C.

The forum headed by its president A. Rajesh issued the order on a complaint filed by Vimal M. Mehta of Kochi. He had booked the tickets for his travel to Ahmedabad from Ernakulam on the Ernakulam Okha Express on August 10, 2011, in second class air conditioned coach.

The Railways however, replaced the second class air conditioned coach by third class air-conditioned coach. All the passengers including the complainant allegedly had a nightmarish journey. Cockroaches and bed bugs were all over the coach. The seats were rickety and toilets had no water and were unclean. The complainant had to suffer mental as well as physical pain throughout his journey.

The Railways submitted that the III AC coach was attached in the place of II AC which was reported mechanically sick (defective). It was in good condition and was certified fit to travel by competent authority.

The forum pointed out those umpteen times such instances had been reported in news papers. However it seems that Railways were paying scant attention to this malady.

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