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Rodent trouble in trains: Railways pins hopes on traps

Weary of complaints regarding rodents in train compartments,the Central Railway has decided to use rat-traps and these will be placed in trains parked in the car sheds.

Written by Prashant Rangnekar | Mumbai |
March 6, 2009 2:59:31 am

Weary of complaints regarding rodents in train compartments,the Central Railway has decided to use rat-traps and these will be placed in trains parked in the car sheds.

Commuters of both Western Railway and Central Railway have been complaining about the pest menace — rats,cockroaches,ants,bedbugs and mosquitoes — in the suburban trains. The latest complaint came on March 2 when commuters had to undertake their journey standing owing to ants in the first class compartment of a Central Railway train.

“We have decided to use rat-traps when the trains are taken to Kurla,Sanpada and Kalwa car sheds for maintenance. Besides this,the same work would also be carried out at sidings (stabling lines) across the railway,” CR chief spokesperson Shriniwas Mudgerikar said.

Officials said the complaints come mostly from women’s second class compartments. “The railways alone cannot be blamed. Some women commuters do domestic chores in the compartment and then dispose of the food remnants in the compartment. This attracts rats and cockroaches,” one of them said.

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In response to an RTI petition filed by Newsline,both the Central Railway and Western Railway said they conduct pest control once every month. In CR,the pest controlling is done at Kurla,Kalwa and Sanpada car sheds; while in WR the procedure is carried out at the Mumbai Central and Kandivli car sheds. But such exercises have proved to be of little help.

The commuters’ associations,too,have not been able to take up the issue effectively. “We have raised the issue with the rail authorities. But there are so many other important issues like train frequency and accidents that need to be given top priority,” said Madhu Kotian of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh. For now,the railways are hoping the rat-traps will provide some relief.

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