Aboard the long-distance 11099 Mumbai Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Madgaon Express, passengers were left in disgust as several mice were allegedly discovered feasting on food meant for travelers in the train’s pantry car. The incident, which occurred on October 15 during a journey to Goa, has triggered outrage on social media, raising concerns about the hygiene standards of Indian Railways and passenger health.
One passenger, Mangirish Tendulkar, who was traveling on the ill-fated train that night, expressed his astonishment at witnessing at least 6-7 rats in the pantry car indulging in a feast intended for passengers. Tendulkar documented this rodent infestation by capturing videos, which he posted on social media. The footage led to widespread public condemnation, with many questioning the Indian Railways’ hygiene practices and passenger safety.
Tendulkar described his actions, saying, “I was shocked to see these rats having a feast on the food intended for passengers. It was a horrifying sight.”
His videos showed the rodents virtually taking control of the pantry car. In one instance, a mouse was seen climbing onto an uncovered utensil and helping itself to food, while another mouse submerged its face in the foodstuff before making a quick getaway.
The videos revealed mice scurrying around the pantry platform, where freshly chopped vegetables were stored. Packets of food, ingredients, dishes, and utensils were also visible on the pantry shelves, raising concerns about contamination.
Disturbed by the situation, Tendulkar reported the issue to a Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable present on the train. However, he was disheartened by the response he received. He quoted the RPF constable as saying, “Look on the tracks below, there are 500-600 rats there. If some 5-6 have entered inside, why do you feel so upset?”
In search of a more constructive response, Tendulkar escalated the matter further by contacting the Assistant Station Manager. The Assistant Station Manager subsequently reached out to the Pantry Manager, who expressed helplessness in addressing the issue. The Pantry Manager reportedly stated, “There are too many rats in the pantry, what can we do?”
Frustrated by the lack of immediate resolution, Tendulkar lodged a formal complaint through the Rail Madad App. In response, an executive assured him that the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) would be penalized for the issue.
However, the reactions and actions of the Central Railway and other concerned railway authorities in response to the incident and the viral videos remain unclear at this time.