Bhopal, Oct 18 (UNI) The Western Railway (WR) will soon take steps to tackle the cockroach and rat menace in the Indore-Jammu Tawi Malwa Express.
''Several passengers have complained. The responsibility for cleanliness and pest control was earlier bestowed on a private company but the contract annulled recently,'' Western Railway Ratlam Division Public Relations Officer Nitin David told UNI.
The train belonged to WR and the latter was primarily responsible for its cleanliness. However, on the Jammu Tawi-Indore journey, the Northern Railway was answerable. Tenders have been invited from pest companies, he added.
''Disinfect this bogie. Kill cockroaches or burn this bogie please!'' The words, written prominently in pen by some vexed passenger, greet those entering a second-class airconditioned coach of the Indore-Jammu Tawi Malwa Express and Railway officials express helplessness as a private company is in charge of cleanliness.
Even Railway Minister Lalu Prasad -- who has taken credit for smooth functioning of Indian Railways -- might be surpised to learn that a cockroach menace has entrenched itself in one of his trains and brought the Minister's lieutenants to their knees.
The unique problem, which has troubled passengers, Railway officers and other employees alike, involves one of Earth's oldest denizens who find the environment in the coaches ideal for living and breeding.
Not only the general and sleeper coaches but also the airconditioned ones of the Indore-Jammu Tawi Malwa Express are bearing the brunt of cockroach terror. One passenger wrote, ''kindly kill the cockroaches.'' Railway employees' hint to the passengers is that they should just grin and bear it! When this correspondent asked the coach conductor about the problem, the latter said that similar complaints were made earlier but no action taken. The conductor merely shrugged his shoulders when asked why the cleanliness contract was not anulled.