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Emerging from the waiting room, it sprinted to the canteen, breakfasting on freshly cooked idlis. From there, it went to the cloakroom, appearing on the platform again before disappearing into a compartment of the Rajdhani Express.

No, we are not talking about any passenger a rat. Not just few, but thousands of them who have invaded the New Delhi railway station.

It is not known exactly how many are there, but they are all over the platforms, in the cloakroom, inside the parcel room, in the canteen, inside trains and on the tracks. Several attempts, including inviting pest control agencies, to chase away the rats have not been successful.

The worst affected is the cloakroom, where passengers waiting for connecting trains leave their luggage. Thousands of passengers leave their luggage here, only to find them having been chewed open or the clothes inside shred apart by rats on their return.

"We tell them to complain to the station master, but at present there is no mechanism to compensate for the loss. Passengers are also at fault because many of them leave edible items in the luggage, which attracts the rats," an official manning the cloakroom said.

"They should have first dug up the whole floor and killed all the rats living there. But the contractor didn a railway official said. "If we spray pesticide, they will die all over the place. The result will be a stinking railway junction, not to mention the potential health hazard," the official added.

Passengers baggage and clothes are not the only things the rats chew on.

Railways officials say rats tear apart power cables, disrupting train traffic.

Rats have also dug long tunnels under the tracks, raising the fear of accidents. At the Old Delhi railway station, at least two trains were delayed some years ago when the tracks caved in. Rats had dug the earth underneath it. A cement platform has also been built under the tracks in the hope of keeping rats at bay. The rats went away but returned soon.

At present, the tracks are washed and sprinkled with pesticides, but the attempts seem inadequate.

Rats have even invaded luxury trains such as the Rajdhani and Shatabdi, whose passengers have complained of having spotted them inside compartments.

"I was having dinner when suddenly this rat emerged from nowhere and brushed past me," said a passenger travelling on the Rajdhani Express from New Delhi to Ranchi.

He said when he drew the attention of the catering staff to the presence of rats inside the train, they asked him to write a complaint in the complaint book.

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10 aprile 2015 This post was written by Categories: News Tagged with:
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