Panchavati Express vandalized by passengers within months of up-gradation

After destructing our famous monuments, the Indian public is now vandalizing the trains. Just four months after the popular intercity express train service got new modern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, with upgraded features, the Railways has to do repair works as the coaches were vandalized by the passengers. Do we really deserve the up-gradation? 

Indian Railways upgraded the Panchavati Express in May 2019. The upgradation had cost Indian Railways around Rs 38 crore. Now, the train is begging for repairs.

According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the vandalism and theft left the Central Railway zone, under which the train is operated, with a repair bill of around Rs 9 lakh. Not only that, the report said that this amount excludes cost of paint needed to gloss over hundreds of paan stains and other signs of defacement.

Extent of vandalism

While revealing the extent of the vandalism, a railway official stated these damages; damaged upholstery of 1,016 armrests, 536 wrecked armrests, stolen knobs of 513 snack tables, 179 torn magazine holders, 86 broken handles to recline seats, 27 ruined curtain pieces. Other than these, 50 health faucets, 43 washroom mugs, 25 taps, 37 flush valves, 17 dustbins, and 15 mirrors were stolen, the report said. Also, 23 vestibule doors were damaged and 1 centre table vanished. 

As per railway officials, it has almost become a practice among railway passengers to ruin newly introduced railway services and facilities. Last year, in the month of May, during the debut run of Mumbai-Goa Tejas Superfast Express train, several headphones were stolen by passengers. Also, there were reports of infotainment displays being damaged on the train, which was launched with aircraft-like features along with many modern conveniences such as LED screens, Wi-Fi service as well as tea/coffee vending machines. 

The new modern rake of Panchavati Express train was introduced on May 9 this year. It has 21 coaches, including 3 air-conditioned chair compartments. It is comparatively faster and safer than normal rakes with the capacity to hit a speed of 130 kmph. 

Our Opinion 

Vandalism and destruction of public property is not new. Visit any monument and we can find the etched names, paan stains and invisible decorative. Besides that, during preparation for Commonwealth Games in Delhi, there were reports of theft of expensive ornamental plants, tiles and streetlights. This prompted the government to appeal to the people “not to steal these things”. 

Public transport buses’ and trains’ seats are torn, paan stains on the window, food wastes on the floor and sometimes handles are unscrewed. We, Indians are quite well-versed with our Fundamental Rights but not with our Fundamental Duties. The point is, do we really deserve the up-gradation of our facilities? Don’t we have manners and a sense of responsibility towards the public property? If we cannot change ourselves, stop complaining about the degradation of facilities. We are only responsible for our backwardness.   

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