It has been only four months since the Mumbai-Manmad Panchavati Express train got a new modern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches complete with upgraded features worth Rs 38 crore. Today, the coaches look like they went through an invasion.
From armrests to toilet mugs, nearly every railway property in the coach has been vandalised.
According to a report in the Mumbai Mirror, passengers of Panchavati Express not only destroyed property but also took away some items with them leading to a repair bill of around Rs 9 lakh excluding cost of paint that would be needed to cover paan stains.
A railway official told the daily that the vandalism includes damaged upholstery, wrecked armrests, torn magazine holders, torn curtains, stolen knobs of snack tables, taps, washroom mugs and even dustbins and mirrors.
Even the fire extinguishers and a centre table went missing.
According to the daily, railway officials said that such scenes on new trains have become a regular feature.
Appealing to passengers not to resort to vandalism, Central Railway’s chief public relations officer Sunil Udasi said that it would become difficult for the railways to maintain the rake to the desired standard if such incidents keep happening.
Railway officials said that such acts constitute “gross misuse of property”.
But this is not the first time that an upgraded train has been vandalised. In May 2017 passengers vandalised and stole items from the Mumbai-Goa Tejas Express. Missing headphones, damaged infotainment screens and waste were seen when the train made its return journey to Mumbai.
The same month, the windows of a Tejas Express on a trial run from Kapurthala to Delhi were damaged by miscreants.
The new Panchavati Express has 21 coaches, including three air-conditioned chair compartments.