A Robbery To Remember: Soap Dispensers, Taps And Toilet Seats Stolen From Utkrisht Rakes
In 2018, Indian Railways had planned to revamp Utkrisht rakes. It was decided at that time that for the coming two years the Railways will be revamping these rakes for a budget of ₹400 crores. The rakes are provided to Western and Central Railways and there have been several instances of vandalism reported in these rakes. 3,000 stainless steel taps have been stolen from the rakes' toilets and washbasins. A railway data further reveals that nearly 2,000 mirrors with stainless steel frame, around 500 liquid soap dispensers and 3,000 toilet flush valves are also missing from around 80 Utkrisht rakes.
Utkrisht rakes have odourless toilets with LED lights, however, the toilet seat covers are also stolen. Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) have suffered a loss of ₹15.25 lakhs and ₹38.58 lakhs respectively due to these thefts. Further, the hammers that are kept near emergency windows inside a box have also been stolen from these rakes.
It isn't the first time that Indian Railways are witnessing such cases. Tejas Express which runs on the Mumbai-Goa route is infamous for many such incidences. In its inaugural journey in May 2017, headphones that were attached to an LED screen on the seats were stolen.
In a bid to solve this issue, Central Railway has decided that it will now install chains around the taps. Sealants will be applied to the taps, mirrors, toilet flush covers and valves. The Chief Public Relation officers (PRO) of CR and WR have very contrasting opinions on this. Shivaji Sutar who is the Chief PRO of Central Railway appealed to the commuters to not repeat it again and stated that they are committed for making their passenger's journey a joyful experience. However, Western Railways Chief PRO Ravinder Bhakar said that strict actions will be taken against people who are found damaging or stealing the railway's property.