The Western Railways on Thursday made a revelation that linen worth Rs 2.5 cr were stolen by the passengers last year. This comes after a passenger was arrested for stealing linens from an air conditioner coach.
Shabbir Rotiwala was arrested at the Ratlam railway station in Madhya Pradesh on Monday after three blankets, as many pillows and six bedsheets of the railways were recovered from his bag.
As per the figures by Western Railways, during 2017-2018, around 1.95 lakh towels, 81,736 bedsheets, 55,573 pillow covers, 5,038 pillows and 7,043 blankets were stolen by passengers from trains.
“In terms of money, the WR has lost linen and fittings worth Rs. 2.5 crore in the last fiscal. This is besides properties damaged by passengers and sometimes by protesters,” a WR official said.
Bath fittings were also stolen from toilets and loss of around Rs. 4,000 cr happened over the last three fiscal years. “The Tejas Express train, which runs between Mumbai and Goa, had branded fittings in toilets but many of them were stolen and had to be replaced with cheaper ones,” he said.
The problem is also that sometimes the coach attendants have to pay from their pockets for the stolen linens as it is the attendant’s responsibility to ensure that every item is returned by the passengers. The Central Railway also said that passengers were stealing linen in its trains.
Between April and September this year, 79,350 hand towels, 27,545 bedsheets, 21,050 pillow covers, 2,150 pillows and 2,065 blankets worth about Rs. 62 lakh were stolen by passengers from trains run by the Central Railway, according to figures provided by a senior CR official.