To make services top-notch, Indian Railways is equipping its trains and stations with world-class facilities but it’s saddening to see the transporter’s struggle with unruly passengers. You may have heard of theft of Indian Railways’ property but now the situation is so bad that the public transporter has to keep even the toilet mug chained.
As per the data provided by the Western Railway zone a couple of months ago, 1.95 lakh towels, 81,736 bedsheets, 5,038 pillows, 55,573 pillow covers and 7,043 blankets were stolen by train passengers during 2017-2018. In the month of October last year, the Central Railway reported that in the zone, as many as 79,350 towels, 27,545 bedsheets, 21,050 pillow covers, 2,150 pillows as well as 2,065 blankets of around Rs 62 lakh were stolen by train passengers between the months of April and September 2018.
The very few number of arrests suggests that Indian Railways as against the cases of missing items suggests that Indian Railways needs to step up its measures to prevent theft of its assets.
Suffering losses on account of stolen blankets and sheets, Indian Railways has instructed its staff to start collecting bedrolls from passengers around 30 minutes before the train reaches its destination. Recently, while replying to a query in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain stated that incidents of theft of bedrolls in air-conditioned coaches of the trains have come to the notice of the Railway Ministry. Complaints have been registered regarding the theft of railway belongings such as bedrolls, towels, fans, lights, blankets etc., over the last few years. Moreover, he also informed that there are some cases of short return of linen items by the attendants of the AC coaches as well!