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Bhayandar: When Priti Thakur boarded the ladies compartment of a Virar-bound local train from Bandra at around 8:45 pm on Saturday, she was puzzled to find commuters preferring to stand rather than get seated on the row of seats which were lying empty.

Being a scribe attached to a reputed newspaper, an inquisitive,  Thakur, spoke to the commuters and was shocked to learn that many of them had been bitten by blood thirsty bugs which had infested upon some of the wooden benches of the old fashioned retrofitted coach.

“While several women were seen scratching their legs due to the stings caused by the bugs, a couple of them including a pregnant lady who could not stand any longer braved the bugs by speeding newspapers on the seats to continue seated but had a terrifying journey to Virar,” said Thakur who said that she called up Sanjay Mishra, Divisional Regional Manager (WR), and apprised him of the situation.

Sensing the seriousness of the issue, Mishra is believed to have relayed the complaint to the maintenance wing, following which the train was directly taken to the Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) car shed as it reached Virar at around 9:50 pm.

“It’s indeed a horrific incident. The Railways should take proper care of coaches so as to ensure commuters are not inconvenienced,” said President of Rail Yatri Parishad Subhash Gupta.

According to sources, the maintenance wing has been ordered to carry out effective control treatments to get rid of pests and rodents in all retro fitted Western Railway coaches.

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