Passengers fume at ‘indulgent’ Mukul Roy
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
01st August 2012 10:33 AM
Railway Minister Mukul Roy arrived here in the early hours of Tuesday in a luxury train coach after visiting the Tamil Nadu Express accident site at Nellore.
Two electricians, it was claimed by a Southern Railway official on the spot, were kept on standby, apparently to ensure uninterrupted power supply to his luxury compartment. Ironical, given the fact that the fire in the Tamil Nadu Express has been attributed to a suspected short circuit. Roy, who arrived in the coach at 3 am spent about one and a half hours “taking rest”.
As he got up at 4.30 am, there was frenetic activity to provide the minister with refreshments, even as railway guards routinely took their places near the coach door. However, the most important scene was played out when a worker brought a special doormat, which the guards claimed was made of wool, and placed it just beneath the door for the minister to step on as he exited the compartment. Roy then met the media before leaving to the airport.
Passengers at the Central were hardly amused by the pomposity. Kavitha Murali, who arrived from Bangalore, wondered if “there was a king” inside the coach. “We passengers, who pay the taxes and for the tickets, are given coaches that leak and catch fire. The minister, who gets his salary from our taxes, is treated like a royal. I am pained by this, especially when we are all mourning the death of those poor souls in the tragedy,” she said in a strong tone, adding that it was insensitive to station the luxury coach at the Central station, the original destination of those who traveled in the ill-fated S11 compartment of the Tamil Nadu Express. R Viswanathan, 61-year-old lawyer, asked pertinently: “Will this coach ever face short circuit and catch fire?”
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