Monday, November 29, 2021
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Railways charging for free services

Earlier this month, I had visited my native place which is situated in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. While returning from the village, I was accompanied by my family members and we had to board the Howrah-Mumbai Mail via Allahabad. The train was running seven hours behind scheduled time due to fog.

Actually, the train had departed five hours late from the beginning station Howrah. As per the scheduled timing train was supposed to reach Allahabad by 11.00 a.m but it arrived only at 6.00 p.m. So, we began our journey at 2.00 p.m from the village as it takes one and half hours from there to reach the station. At 4 pm we were reached the platform. We had to wait for two more hours for the train to arrive at the destination. My brother who is mentally weak wanted to go for toilet.

When I took him for toilet on platform no. 1, there was no urinal but compartments for toilets. There were few people who were collecting money from the passengers. The person asked me to pay for using the urinal. I informed him that as per rules urinal is free. One guy with odd skin laughed loudly and told me to not only go for urinal but also use the toilet. He was asking me to shell out Rs. 5 for availing the service. I told him, others stations were charging two rupees from passengers for using toilets. He laughs again and asked me to go there.

Just like toll nakas are collecting money from motorists without fearing laws in the same manner contractors are charging passengers for using lavatory. When I threatened to lodge a complaint with the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of North Central Railway, he said that they are aware about it. Due to time constraints, I was unable to file a complaint against the person and DRM office is located 5 km away from the railway station. I appeal to the officials, please consider this write up as a complaint and conduct an enquiry against the concerned person. Allahabad is one of the busiest station and had earned reputation for its good service but such persons are only maligning their reputation. As an ancient city, many international tourists begin and end their journey here. Our motto is ‘Attithi Devo Bhavo’ but such people are charging passengers for using free urinal services. Our tourism department is spending lumpsum money and appealing people to behave properly with tourists but people like these are putting our ‘honour’ and respect at stake for few coins.

Strict action must be taken against such people who are tarnishing India’s image.

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