New Delhi: Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu might have taken several initiatives aimed at making train journey a comfortable experience for passengers but the ground reality is different and a lot still needs to be done.
According to a report carried by the Hindustan Times, an elderly passenger, who was travelling in Mangalore Express on March 14, was bitten by a rodent was without any medical aid for no less than 11 hours.
TKG Nair, aged 64, had to suffer a bleeding toe for about 11 hours before he was finally given medical aid.
The pathetic condition of Nair, an administrator with a petrochemical company, prompted a fellow-passenger to tweet Suresh Prabhu about the failure to provide medical aid by the rail staff.
The railway minister was quick to response and also promised stringent action against the errant staff.
The latest incident has come to fore at a time when the country’s largest public carrier has initiated a slew of measures to improve passenger amenities.
In February, Railways paid Rs 13,000 as compensation to a passenger from Kottayam who too had suffered a rat bite on an AC coach of the Mumbai-Ernakulam Duranto Express.
“The Railways is talking about big things like the bullet train and Gatiman Express. What about (the) existing ones? As a regular traveller, I feel the situation is going from bad to worse,” Nair was quoted as saying.
Narrating the incident, Nair said he was jolted out of his sleep in an AC three-tier compartment around midnight after the train had left Kottayam station.
“My toe was bleeding badly and it was painful. (The) TTE made many calls and told me that a medical team would examine me at Ernakulam junction. But nobody turned up there. Then I was told a doctor would attend me in Thrissur. But the situation remained same,” he said.
When the TTE area of jurisdiction ended, he left without uttering a word.
“Next morning, when the train reached Kannur, a medical team came and cleaned my wound with antiseptic lotion. When I asked about an anti-tetanus injection I was told there was no doctor or paramedical staff to apply it. Finally, I was given an injection and some tablets including pain-killer after the train reached its destination Mangalore,” Nair added.
He said that after waking up, he saw a rat scurrying for cover. As all passengers were asleep, he approached the AC mechanic who in turn informed the ticket examiner.
Nair is reportedly planning to approach consumer forum for compensation.