While the railways are actively promoting a cleanliness campaign, a video showing rats moving around in the pantry car on utensils and food trays of the Mumbai Goa Express train has gone viral on social media, raising concerns among rail commuters. Central Railway officials, initially unaware of the incident, have stated that they will investigate the video. Meanwhile, IRCTC has filed an initial fact-finding report and informed Central Railway to take effective measures for rodent control at railway yards and stations.
A passenger who captured the video said, “This is such a rude shock for me as a train traveller. The incident occurred while I was traveling with my family on the 11099 LTT MAO Express on October 15, 2023. The train had been rescheduled from its original departure time of 1.45 midnight to 3.30 am. As I walked towards the end of the train, I spotted the pantry car in the middle of the train, a Garib Rath-liveried coach. Inside, I could see at least six to seven rats, of which I was able to film four. When I attempted to complain to the RPF, their response was quite rude.”
The passenger continued, “I then took matters into my own hands and followed the proper procedures. Finally, I reached the assistant station master (Commercial) at the station, who called the pantry manager. Shockingly, the pantry manager informed me that the pantry car often had many rats due to the railway`s habit of attaching poorly maintained coaches as pantry cars. Ultimately, I was able to file a complaint using the Rail Madad app.”
The passenger added, “I was assured by a Rail Madad executive that they would penalise IRCTC. However, my main concern is the need to provide training to RPF personnel on how to communicate respectfully with passengers. In the ticket section, a rail employee attempted to delete the video instead of providing proper guidance. Shouldn`t we be entitled to safe and hygienic food during our train journey?”
The fact finding report stated that the matter had been brought to the attention of CR for effective pest and rodent control in pantry cars. As per the report, a video showed two rats roaming over utensils in the pantry car of train no. 11099. The passenger reported the incident in real-time to the station manager/LTT, and the pantry car was inspected. The station master has assured deep cleaning and rodent control in the yard, and the matter is under investigation.
Interestingly, CR’s Mumbai division is currently conducting a major cleanliness campaign at its stations known as #SpecialCampaign3.0. They’ve been actively sharing pictures and videos of this initiative.