Kochi: Grubby floors, stinking toilets and overflowing garbage bins – the list of woes of the passengers of Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram Mail never ends. They are a harried lot as the coaches of the train have not been properly scrubbed and cleaned for the past one year. The travellers are forced to bear with the onboard shoddy facilities ever since the maintenance work of the Chennai mail had been shifted from Chennai to Coimbatore in February 2017 due to its rake link with the Coimbatore-Chennai Cheran Express.
It is a sorry state of affairs as one could enter the compartments only after covering the nose to ward off the overpowering stench. The garbage bins are overflowing, the wash basins mucky, and the bio-toilets are non-functional. To make matters worse, rats lurk around the coaches to the chagrin of the travellers.
Minimal maintenance work is carried out at the Coimbatore coach depot, which comes under the Salem Division, due to disagreement between the railway officials and the contractor concerned. Railway officials told that they can’t do anything as a case, relating to the dispute, is being heard in a court. Moreover, the workers at the Coimbatore depot don’t have the expertise to handle the modern LHB coaches. The passengers are urging the railways to make alternative arrangements for the upkeep of coaches.
Allegations are rife that the Salem Division is giving scant regard for the cleanliness of the train as the train service comes under the Chennai Division. It seems that the Chennai Division too has washed hands of the train service after the maintenance work has been shifted to the Coimbatore depot.
The passengers are requesting the railways to delink the rake link of the Chennai mail and move the maintenance work to Chennai Basin Bridge.
The Chennai mail is one of the most important train services from the Chennai Division to Kerala, but sadly it not getting due credit.