- I Paid A Bribe
- 7 years ago
- 5933 views
On 25th December, 2015, I tried to transport a Honda Activa Scooter from Mysore Jn to Bagalkot. When I produced the two-wheeler at the parcel office at Mysore Railway Station, one young woman seemingly not working for the Railways, raised an alarm at the entrance, saying if vehicles were taken inside the parcel office, the whole office might catch fire. She then offered to clean the scooter gas tank, if I paid her Rs.50/- for her services. I paid her that money. I did not know I was paying bribe. She later disclosed to me that she was a contract labourer.
But they would not let me go easily, not without another twist. The Booking clerk explained to me that the train that I had selected to travel in accompanying the scooter would only stop at Bagalkot station for just two minutes, and that the contract labour Hamal would not be available to unload the scooter. That meant that I could travel by a previous train since I had reservation in it, but would have to wait at Bagalkot station 6 hours before the train carrying my scooter would arrive and I could safely get the scooter unloaded.
The fact that Railways in their austerity drive probably decided to stop recruting hamals in railway stations, outsourcing this activity to contracters, with the result that these contract labourers hold the passengers to ransom did not go unnoticed. Nor the fact that a commercial clerk was yelling at a customer for paying him less bakshish.
Contract labour and self-appointed porters at the railway stations have become a thorn in the side of the hapless passengers, thanks to unscientific planning.