New Delhi: The Tejas Express was flagged off with much fanfare in July of 2017. Touted as India's first semi high-speed train, the journey between Mumbai and Goa promised to be an experience like none before. And of the highlights of the train were LCD screens for passengers - making rail travel not just comfortable but high-tech. Now, less than a year later, the screens would be permanently removed due to vandalism which refuses to abate.
Indian Railways has decided to remove all LCD screens from Tejas and Shatabdi Express after observing that the cost of repeatedly repairing broken screens far outweighs the benefit to passengers. In the case of Tejas in particular, several screens were broken right from the day it was first flagged off for public at large. Authorities found that many passengers had either scratched, shattered or completely broken the screens which are located on the back of every seat. A few even tried to dismantle the screens so that they could carry them home. Shocking images and videos showcased just why Indian passengers - at least some - are just not civilised enough to respect public property. And yet, authorities hoped that vandalism would abate.
It has not.
Screens continued to be broken, headphones repeatedly went missing and the general indulgence in acts of vandalism prevailed. Authorities have now decided that once the contract ends next month, the screens will be removed permanently. Officials say while they are committed to providing world-class facilities to Indian passengers, the civic sense in general needs to improve before - and if at all - the screens are brought back.