The Western and Central railways are facing a peculiar problem. Miscreants are stealing switchboards, lights, and announcement boxes and also tampering with electrical wires in the new Siemens local trains.
On several occasions, railway authorities have found the doors of motor coaches unlocked and partially open. Any damage to the equipment inside the motor coach can affect the safety and running of trains. “We have taped the edges of the doors so that miscreants can’t tamper with it,” said a senior Western Railway (WR) official.
In a recent incident, commuters found the switchboard of a Virar-bound train open and the wires tampered with. S Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR said: “We have asked the railway police to form groups and catch hold of these miscreants.”
According to officials, the equipment in the old trains was sturdier and difficult to remove. “In the new trains, there are several switches and wires. Any damage to a particular wire would mean that it would affect the function of the fan and light.,” the official said.
The situation is similar on the Central Railway (CR). “These thefts usually occur during non-peak hours or in the night,” said an official from CR.
Sources said there have been cases where thieves have stolen announcement boxes and rubber fitted on the doors of a coach. “We have replaced the metal covers with plastic as it doesn’t have any resale value,” said S Mudgerikar, chief PRO, CR.