Consumer forum asks SCR to pay Rs 11,000 to passenger due to AC failure in coach
K Raghunath, 36, of Rajamahendravaram reserved a third AC ticket on the Garib Rath train for travelling from Rajamahendravaram to Secunderabad on April 5
HYDERABAD: The District Consumer Redressal Commission ordered South Central Railway (SCR) to pay a compensation of Rs 11,000 along with three percent interest to a Rajamahendravaram resident for causing inconvenience and hardship during his train journey.
K Raghunath, 36, of East Railway Station Road in Rajamahendravaram reserved a third air-conditioned (AC) ticket on the Garib Rath (12739) train for travelling from Rajamahendravaram to Secunderabad on April 5. After boarding the train, Raghunath came to know that there was a technical issue with the AC due to power problems and the fans in the coach were also not functioning. Since the coach was an AC coach, the windows were sealed with glass and there was no ventilation in the compartment.
Raghunath complained about the non-functioning of ACs and fans to the Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE). He was informed that the problem was due to electrical failure in the train and the same would be rectified after reaching Eluru station. For more than four and a half hours, Raghunath and other passengers suffered from suffocation, due to which the inmates of the coach and Raghunath could not sleep properly. He also complained that there was no water supply near the wash basins in the compartment.
SCR had informed that the power supply to AC plants was not available due to the non-working of DG sets in the train. It also said that Raghunath did not verify/check the entire system of DG sets that provided power supply to AC plants before the train was ready for its scheduled journey. Raghunath also submitted the ordeal faced by all the passengers and wrote a letter on April 7 to SCR. In his letter, Raghunath said that all the passengers suffered a lot of inconvenience, hardship and mental agony due to negligent acts of SCR.
The Commission served a notice to SCR on May 29. Despite receipt of notice by SCR, they failed to file an explanation within the statutory period. The Court noted that, as it was evident, that Raghunath along with his co-passengers faced suffocation, hardship and mental agony due to the non-functioning of AC and fans in the compartment. The Court ruled that SCR was negligent and deficient in rendering proper service to Raghunath as they charged the fare for the third AC. Hence, the Court ruled in favour of Raghunath and the Commission directed SCR to pay Rs 6,000 along with 3 percent interest from April 6 to August 11 and Rs 5,000 litigation costs to him.