Blood sucking bed bugs, stinking bed covers and poor sanitary conditions in a two-tier air-conditioned coach of Tuticorin-Mysore express train irked its passengers, who on the arrival of the train at the Salem Junction in the wee hours of Monday, staged a dharna in front of the office of station master demanding the replacement of the coach.

As a result of the agitation, the train, which reached Salem Junction on way to Mysore at about 1.30 am on Monday, had suffered a detention of near 90 minutes.

When the train arrived at Salem, some 40 passengers who were travelling in the two-tier AC coach disembarked and stormed into the station master's room telling the officials that the coach was ill-maintained and infested with bed bugs and mosquitoes.

They claimed that they could not sleep due to the poor upkeep of the coach.

They also urged the railway authorities to immediately replace the coach since it is a division headquarters.

Railway authorities pacified the passengers and held talks with them.

After more than an hour-and-a-half, the agitated passengers barring six boarded the train and continued their onward journey.

The Railways refunded the ticket fare of the six, who refused to travel in the coach.

A senior Railway spokesperson here told `The Hindu' that they had expressed their inability to replace the coach at Salem Junction, since pest control could not be carried out immediately.