The Mumbai Mirror (India) reports that Western Railway train conductors can’t rest in the twenty minutes they manage to steal between shifts, because bed bugs have infested the sofas in the lobby they use for their breaks:
Devendra Yadav, who represents the Western Railway motormen, confirmed his colleagues’ trouble with vermin. ‘The couches in our lobby have bedbugs and are uncomfortable. We have requested the railways to take necessary action.’
The 40-minute period of rest for motormen is recommended by railway guidelines so that accidents can be avoided. Several motormen told Mumbai Mirror that as train services often run late, their relaxation time is reduced to 20 minutes on most occasions. ‘With the lobby in this pathetic condition, resting is out of the question,’ said one of them.
‘We have to concentrate while driving. A trip drains us out. But as soon as we sit on any of these six couches, the creatures crawl up on us and bite us. We have unwittingly carried the bugs home on our clothes and bags,’ said a motorman, who wanted to remain a fly on the wall.
Four hundred motormen use the six couches in this lobby. And so far, railway officials apparently have not tried to solve the problem.
The article notes the railway plans to buy new sofas. Note to Western Railway’s Chief Public Relations Officer S S Gupta: eliminating the infested couches won’t get rid of bed bugs, which have probably infested the room itself, and maybe even other parts of the building.
The Mumbai Mirror also reports that the motormen are collecting every bed bug they find in the lobby, so they can deliver these in a bottle to railway officials.
Collecting bed bugs in a sealed container is not a bad idea for getting the point across to management, provided of course that the bed bugs remain sealed in the bottle.
We do not want to hear any more stories of bed bugs deliberately being released as Des Moines, Iowa officials suspect happened last week in a city office.