A Ranchi couple claimed Rs 10 lakh as compensation, stating that they were bitten by rodents in the AC first class compartment of a Kolkata-bound train.
Senior citizens PC Sinha and his wife Alka were travelling in the Kriya Yoga Express (Hatia-Howrah Express) from Ranchi to Howrah on December 30 last year when around midnight, the man was allegedly bitten by rats.
“It is shameful that at a time when the Prime Minister is talking of Swachch Bharat, the Indian railways can’t even get rid of rats from the highest class of compartments,” Sinha said in a letter to the general manager of south eastern railways. Hindustan Times has a copy of the letter written on December 31, 2015.
A retired chief engineer in Bokaro Steel Limited, Sinha claimed that he had suffered a 3mm bite and was at the risk of contracting diseases as he was a diabetic.
“There were four passengers in the compartment, and three were bitten… I have never seen such big rats in my life,” he said, adding he had to take rabies vaccines after reaching Kolkata.
When the train halted at the Santraganchi railway station, about 30-minutes from Howrah, the couple lodged a complaint with the grievance redressal cell and asked for the compensation.
“The government is dreaming of bullet trains while they can’t even keep the existing trains clean… The compartment was a mess, with rat droppings everywhere,” said Alka, a school principal in Ranchi.
A south eastern railways official said the complaint would be conveyed to the Ranchi division and necessary steps would be taken.
“I have not got the information yet, but we will do the needful,” said Deepak Kumar, Ranchi divisional railway manager.