Bed bugs infest break room of Mumbai’s train drivers

by nobugsonme on July 25, 2010 · 3 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs and travel, bed bugs in the workplace

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.

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1 Ken July 27, 2010 at 11:15 am

The Indians are wise to collect the bugs – I have 3515 in a bottle of alcohol, so they are not getting out.
The press in NY has ignored my pleas for them to do this story – NY Post is a pathetic joke, with Amber Sutherland, who is noted for her plagiarism, and a receptionist who just wasted my time yesterday.
And no word from Juan Gonzalez at the NY Daily News whom I emailed.
On Thursday, my hotel will send in exterminators, but I can find no listing for them – Superb – so I suspect they are unregistered. Who knows what they are spraying. We can all lose our tourism industry due to these bugs.
And oh, got a reply from the DHCR on Sat., 24 July, telling me that the landlord claims the mice, roaches and bedbugs were taken care of. It was dated 21 July and said I had 5 days to respond if this was not the case.
It sure wasnt’t. But getting up there on such short notice was a pain – I tried to get their # off the net, but a real person does not answer the phone, so my hope of faxing them was out. Had to take the train to Harlem, and proceed to 133rd and B’way and find 94 Old B’way, which is an obscure street that only exists between 131st and 133rd. Got them just before 4pm, which is the deadline, and they looked at the form like they’d never seen it before…probably they haven’t had anyone make this last minute deadline which is slanted towards the landlords in an age of new laws giving away much to landlords. But I got it in, and made them give me a copy with their seal as proof of delivery.
So we will see. If anyone out there gives a damn – including any journalists, get off your butt and get in touch with me. But then, some say I bark too loud; so you may just prefer to sit there and do nothing and have the bite of the bugs.

2 nobugsonme July 27, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hi Ken,

Anyone reading this may not be familiar with your story. For this reason, instead of posting updates on your situation to various unrelated posts on this blog, I ask that you start a thread about your story in the forums. That way, you can update everyone on your status and keep your story in one place, at the same time without taking other threads off-topic.

3 CiLecto July 29, 2010 at 7:02 am

This story, as well as several others where named individuals come forward to protest BB in the workplace have the common element of labor unions backing up the workers. Maybe they don’t have the teeth to fix the problems, but at least they have the voices. A big contrast from the non-union and temp-staffed shops where people are afraid to speak out.

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