An Orissa High Court judge today got off the Mumbai-bound Konark Express train because of a foul smell coming from a dead rodent in his air-conditioned coach. Justice Biswanath Rath, who was scheduled to travel from here to Visakhapatnam, terminated his journey mid-way at the Berhampur railway station, in protest against the poor hygienic conditions in the Bhubaneswar-Mumbai superfast train.
A passenger accompanying the judge said the smell became unbearable, prompting the latter to get off the train at Berhampur.
“We were travelling in the A1 coach (berths 13, 15). After the Khurda Road station, sir (Justice Rath) asked me to find out the source of the foul smell. I found a dead mouse and three live mice near the glass window,” he said.
The judge has lodged a complaint in the railway register kept at the station.
The East Coast Railway, in a statement, admitted that the incident had occurred and said it was taking the matter seriously.
“Action will be taken against those found negligent in their duties,” the statement said.
A dead mouse was found trapped in a mouse-trap fixed under a seat in the AC coach and was emitting a foul smell, the statement said, adding that the coach was cleaned at the Berhampur station.
“This train has its maintenance scheduled in Mumbai. Senior officials in Mumbai have been duly informed of the incident,” it said.
The judge could not be contacted for his comments.