Free Press Journal

Tejas Express row: After damaging windows, passengers steal earphones, do we really deserve better?


Tejas Express vandalised

Just within a week after its debut, Tejas Express has seen a lot. No, we are not talking in terms of distance but about the vandalism it faced. And the latest to add to the list it stolen ear phones. As many as 337 earphones worth Rs 200 each were stolen in just four trips by the passengers from the Mumbai-Goa Tejas Express. Unfortunately, on the fifth trip, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) came up with cheap earphones worth Rs 30 each. Meanwhile, around 990 infotainment screens were damaged and toilets were also left filthy.

For those who live under a rock, Tejas Express is a 20-coach train with a speed of 200 km per hour and functions between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Karmali, North Goa. The state-of-the-art high speed train is equipped with WiFi, tea/coffee vending machines, bio-toilets, automatic doors, LCD screens, hand driers, censored taps and more.

The Mumbai – Goa high speed train arrived in Mumbai from Delhi a day before the debut day. Unfortunately, unknown malefactors just for fun purpose vandalised it by throwing rocks. The much-awaited train arrived with broken windows. And if this was not enough, passengers who traveled by it on the first day instead of memories alighted with headphones and as a return gift damaged the infotainment screens and gave a makeover to the train by turning it into a trash can. It makes us think, do we really deserve anything nice?

There were reports of passengers complaining about weak WiFi signals, inedible food and absence of tea and coffee vending machines. But there are ways to lodge such complains officially. But vandalising is the easiest way.

Well, we Indians never stop blaming and comparing our government for every second thing we come across. And when finally they do something we treat it with sheer disrespect. They may aspire to give us best service or come up with state-of-art technologies, but our desi genes doesn’t have the capability to enjoy it. Reason? Who cares? Damaging public property is so every-day in India. But do you know there is a Prevention of Damage to a Public Property Act, 1984, but rarely implemented as most of the vandalism is carried by some ‘unknown’ folks.

Vandalising, messing and defacing public properties are unwritten rights of Indian citizens. How can we forget we live in a country where most of the people start their day with defecating on the railway tracks and some spend their day by colouring walls by spits, expressing love by carving names on historical monuments and throwing away wrappers beneath the local transport’s seats.

At the end all we can say is it’s time to be civil, understand our civic duties and have a sense of pride in our national resources.