Indian Railways lost Rs. 4,000cr over stolen linen, bed sheets
Linen and other items worth Rs. 2.5cr were stolen by passengers in trains run by the Western Railway in the last fiscal, an official said.
The revelation comes after a passenger, Shabbir Rotiwala, was arrested at the Ratlam railway station in Madhya Pradesh on October 1 with three blankets, pillows, and six bed-sheets of the Railways, when he alighted from the Bandra-Amritsar Paschim Express.
Nearly 2 lakh towels stolen by passengers from Western Railways
During 2017-18, around 1.95L towels, 81,736 bed-sheets, 55,573 pillow covers, 5,038 pillows, and 7,043 blankets were stolen by passengers from trains, as per figures provided by the Western Railway (WR).
"In terms of money, the WR has lost linen and fittings worth Rs. 2.5 crore in the last fiscal. This is besides properties damaged by passengers and sometimes by protesters," a WR official said.
Tejas: Branded bath-fittings were also stolen, replaced by cheaper ones
Apart from linen, bath-fittings were also stolen from toilets in trains, the official said, adding that the Indian Railways incurred a loss of around Rs. 4,000cr over the last three fiscals due to such acts.
"The Tejas Express train, which runs between Mumbai and Goa, had branded fittings in toilets but many were stolen and had to be replaced with cheaper ones," he said.
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Nearly 80,000 hand towels stolen from Central Railway
Not just Western Railway, even Central Railway faces a similar situation. Between April and September this year, 79,350 hand towels, 27,545 bed-sheets, 21,050 pillow covers, 2,150 pillows and 2,065 blankets worth about Rs. 62L were stolen by passengers from trains run by the Central Railway.
Sometimes coach attendants pay for stolen linens: Official
Sometimes coach attendants have to pay from their own salaries for the stolen linen as it is their responsibility to ensure every item is returned by passengers, the WR official pointed out.
Expressing concern over such incidents, WR's Chief Public Relations Officer Ravinder Bhakar said, "We want to provide world-class and comfortable service to passengers, but such acts are posing a challenge for us."
Bandra-Amritsar Paschim Express
Chief Public Relations Officer Ravinder Bhakar