A Ranchi couple has claimed Rs 10 lakh as compensation for alleged rat bites in the AC first class compartment of a Kolkata-bound train.
PC Sinha (72) and his wife Alka Sinha (62) were travelling in Kriya Yoga Express (Hatia-Howrah Express) from Ranchi to Howrah on December 30 last year. Around midnight, Sinha, a retired chief engineer in Bokaro Steel Limited, was allegedly bitten by rodents and had to take rabies vaccines after reaching Kolkata.
“It is shameful that at a time when the prime minister is talking of Swacch 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. HT has a copy of the letter written on December 31, 2015.
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.
When the train halted at the Santraganchi railway station, around 30-minute journey 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.
The couple has alleged that the railway staff did not pay heed to their complaint.
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.