No toilets in trains force travellers to stay put for as long as 3 hours

 While the Northern Railway is installing bio-toilets in trains, several trains catering to lakhs of passengers between Delhi and adjoining towns like Aligarh, Ambala, Kurukshetra and Mathura do not have toilets at all.

The duration of journey in such local trains being around 3 hours, without toilet facility the passengers are put into serious inconvenience.

 “The travel time between Aligarh and Delhi is close to three hours. While the train leaves Aligarh at 6:35 am and reaches Delhi at 9:30 am. I visit Delhi at least two to three days every week for my work. It is harsh on part of the railway authorities to think that passengers will not need the toilet facility for that many hours,” said Prabhat Sharan, a trader from Aligarh.

The travelling time between New Delhi and Mathura is 3.5 hours, Delhi and Kosi Kalan is 2.45 hours. Dozens of electric multiple unit (EMU) trains are operational on the routes catering to passengers from nearby towns and cities and they do not have toilets.

Moreover, the stoppage time of the EMU trains at the stations on the way is very less, which makes it impossible for the passengers to use the public convenience in the intervening time.

All the EMUs have reserved coaches for women apart from women special trains on these routes. Ironically they too do not have coaches.

“This is one of the most basic facilities which one could expect at public places. I travel for work on a daily basis from Ghaziabad to Delhi. Though it takes around half an hour to cover the distance, it hardly matters. Several women travel longer distances.

 We have put forth our demand with the rail authorities in the past. But they have fallen on deaf ears,” said Rajni, a daily commuter.

However, the railway authorities say the EMU services were started as suburban trains, expecting that people will use the service for shorter distances.

“The services were started around two decades back for people travelling for short distance. For example, people travelling to Fridabad from Delhi will take the train to Mathura and not by people who want to go to Mathura. People travelling to Mathura have the option of taking other mail or express trains,” Sudhir Garg, additional divisional manager of Delhi said.

Since demand for toilets has been increasing off late, the railway is gradually introducing the facility in some trains.“The mainline electric multiple units (MEMU) trains are being run on some of these routes. One rake of MEMU train on Ambala route has been provided with toilets,” said Garg. 

However, the officials said providing toilets in the EMU trains will require mechanical changes in the design of the coaches, a call on which can be taken only at the railway ministry level.

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